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 split.
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.