By Stephen Eisenhammer and Silvia Antonioli
LONDON Feb 19 London-listed coal miner Asia
Resource Minerals (ARMS) said on Wednesday the Bakrie
family has asked for a fourth extension to a deadline for
completing a split from the company, as well as a change in
terms because it had yet to raise the necessary cash.
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 the London-listed company, shareholders voted to
split with the influential Indonesian Bakrie family that
co-founded the business in 2010.
In the separation deal agreed in December, the Bakries would
have sold their 23.8 percent stake in London-listed ARMS for
$223 million and then use that income plus a $50 million deposit
they have paid and an additional $228 million to buy ARMS's 29.2
percent stake in Jakarta-listed miner PT Bumi Resources
That would have allowed ARMS to split completely from PT
Bumi Resources, Asia's top thermal coal exporter, and focus on
its other assets.
However, finding the money needed has proved difficult for
the asset-rich but often cash-poor Bakrie family.
They have only managed to raise $163 million so far, short
of the $228 million specified in the original terms of the split
deal, ARMS said in a statement.
ARMS said the Bakrie Group had asked to reduce the number of
PT Bumi Resources shares they would get in the swap to 25.4
percent, down from 29.2 percent specified in the original terms.
The London-listed company said it still believed the revised
terms would be in the interest of shareholders and intended to
agree a further extension to Feb. 26, by when the conditions for
the separation must be met.
The Bakries said earlier this month that the difficulties in
raising the cash were also due to a one-third plunge in the
share price of PT Bumi Resources in the last four months, hit by
a heavy debt burden and lower coal prices.
After three previous extensions, the family has asked to
move the deadline to fulfil conditions to go ahead with the
AMRS said it intends to agree to move the deadline from Feb.
19 to Feb. 26.
The Bakries founded Bumi Plc in 2010 together with investor
Nat Rothschild, with the aim of bringing promising Indonesian
coal assets to London investors, but their relationship soured.
The London-listed company's shares have lost about three
quarters of their value since their listing.