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Bakrie family business ‘will act fast to resolve probe’

Bumi Resources, the Indonesian coal miner accused of financial irregularities by one of its main shareholders, will act “as expeditiously as possible” to resolve the matter, the family business said in a statement on 26 September.

Bumi Resources, the Indonesian coal miner accused of financial irregularities by one of its main shareholders, will act “as expeditiously as possible” to resolve the matter, the family business said in a statement on 26 September.

On 24 September, London-listed Bumi, which is part-owned by financier Nat Rothschild and has a 29% stake in Bumi Resources, said it had become aware of allegations concerning potential financial irregularities in the Jakarta-based company’s operations.

Bumi, which has seen its share price drop by 23% since Monday, launched an independent investigation into the allegations and added the probe will focus on some of Bumi Resources’ development funds.

There is speculation that Bumi’s board is also considering separating the company from Bumi Resources.

The Bakrie family, together with business partner Samin Tam, controls 30% of Bumi and holds 48% of the company’s voting shares through the Bakrie Group, a conglomerate with interests in agriculture, shipping and mining. Family member Indra Bakrie serves as Bumi’s co-chairman, along with Tam. The family is also Bumi Resources’ main shareholder.

Rothschild, who holds an 11% stake in Bumi, sits on the company’s board as non-executive director.

But the Bumi issue isn’t the only problem currently facing the Bakrie family. Rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s think Bumi Resources may find it difficult to refinance its debt in the coming months, with S&P’s downgrading its long-term rating one step to B+ and Moody’s changing the company’s outlook to negative.

When contacted, Bumi didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

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