(Adds Nat Rothschild comments; background on separation deal)
LONDON, March 21 Coal miner Asia Resource
Minerals (ARMS) said its co-founding Bakrie family had
paid the $278 million cash portion of a long-awaited deal to
split from ARMS, which it hopes will end shareholder battles.
Everything is now in place to complete the separation by
March 25, ARMS said on Friday.
"All Bakrie Group funding required to complete the
separation transaction is now in holding accounts at the escrow
bank," the London-listed company said in a statement.
Indonesia-focused ARMS, previously known as Bumi Plc, has
been hit by shareholder battles, allegations of wrongdoing and
falling coal prices in the last few years.
To revive its fortunes, shareholders voted to split with
Indonesia's Bakrie family, which founded the business in 2010
together with investor Nat Rothschild.
The deal agreed last year will separate ARMS from PT Bumi
Resources, Asia's top thermal coal exporter, and focus its
turnaround efforts on its other main Indonesian subsidiary,
Under the terms of the complex deal, ARMS's outgoing
chairman, Samin Tan, has agreed to buy the Bakries' 23.8 percent
stake in ARMS through Indonesia's Borneo Lumbung Energy & Metal
Tbk, which will push Borneo's stake in ARMS to as much
as 47.6 percent.
The Bakries, in turn, will buy ARMS's 29.2 percent stake in
Jakarta-listed miner PT Bumi Resources using the
proceeds from the ARMS stake sale and the $278 million in cash,
amounting to a total of $501 million.
"I look forward to strengthening the board by adding a
world-class independent non-executive director soon after the
separation, and then it is over to Samin to ruthlessly cut costs
in Indonesia," Nat Rothschild said in an e-mailed statement.
(Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Stephen Eisenhammer
and Jane Baird)