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Rothschild leaves Bumi board

Financier Nat Rothschild has stepped down from the board of London-listed coal miner Bumi, saying he has lost confidence in the management’s ability to protect minority shareholders.
Nat Rothschild leaves Bumi board

Financier Nat Rothschild has stepped down from the board of London-listed coal miner Bumi, saying he has lost confidence in the management’s ability to protect minority shareholders.

In a letter sent to chairman Samin Tam on 15 October, Rothschild, who controls 12% of Bumi, said: “It is my opinion ... that you are not trying to protect the interests of minority shareholders. Rather, I believe that you are complicit in their oppression.”

The resignation comes a week after the Indonesian Bakrie family, one of Bumi’s biggest shareholders, said it wanted to end its relationship with the London-listed company.

The Bakries offered to buy some of Bumi’s assets, including a number of Indonesia’s largest coal mines, in exchange for cash and the family’s 23.8% indirect stake in Bumi.

“It would be a disgrace to proceed with, or even to entertain, the proposal made by the Bakries,” Rothschild said in the letter.

Bumi’s board is currently investigating potential financial irregularities at Bumi Resources, a Bakrie family-controlled coal miner in which Bumi owns a 29% stake.

Rothschild seemed concerned that Bumi’s investors may find themselves linked to a company whose bad reputation is affecting its share price, and with no assets.

“You appear determined to drive through the Bakries’ proposal,” he added. “I believe that [this] is so obviously not in the interests of minority shareholders that I find it impossible to stay on as a director.”

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