November 5, 2012 / 8:21 AM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Bumi receives Nat Rothschild counter-proposal

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Miner Bumi Plc has received details of a proposal from co-founder Nat Rothschild that would provide an alternative to a $1.4 billion plan outlined by the Bakrie family to dismantle the coal mining venture.

Bumi - founded to years ago by Rothschild and the politically connected Bakries two years ago - said on Monday its independent directors and advisers would consider the proposal.

However they would not make any recommendation until an independent investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing at its Indonesian operations was “appropriately advanced”.

Bumi’s board is receiving advice from investment bank Rothschild, which is not directly related to Nat Rothschild. Monday’s statement gave no detail of the new, alternative proposal, restricted by confidentiality agreements.

Reuters reported on Friday that Rothschild was in talks with new Indonesian investors including a contender for the country’s presidency, former general Prabowo Subianto, on a plan to counter the Bakrie offer.

Prabowo and brother Hashim Djojohadikusumo are in talks with Rothschild, a spokeswoman for the two told Reuters on Monday. She said Rothschild was understood to be holding talks with other parties in Indonesia, but gave no further details.

Rothschild set up Bumi with the Bakries two years ago, when the politically connected family injected Indonesian coal assets into a London investment shell created by the financier.

But their relations have since soured, sparking public confrontations, most recently over an investigation into potential financial wrongdoing in Bumi’s Indonesian assets, as coal prices tumbled and the London-listed firm’s shares slumped.

Tensions came to a head last month when the Bakries announced plans to unwind the venture. Rothschild resigned from Bumi’s board, aiming to fight a proposal he said would not be in the interests of minority shareholders.

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