LONDON, July 7 Former Thai prime minister
Thaksin Shinawatra is in talks to buy the Bakrie family's 23.8
percent stake in Indonesia-focused coal miner Bumi Plc
, a report on Sunday said.
The price Thaksin, who was ousted by the army in 2006, would
be willing to pay is unclear, the Sunday Times reported, adding
that he had hired UBS.
Bumi was co-founded by financier Nat Rothschild and the
Bakrie family but has struggled in the past two years to
overcome bitter boardroom battles, a probe into financial
irregularities and the tumbling price of coal.
Bumi and the Bakrie family are now seeking to part ways and
last year the Bakries agreed to exchange $278 million in cash
and their shares in London-listed Bumi for the group's minority
holding in Bumi Resources, but the length of
negotiations has raised questions over the family's ability to
come up with the cash.
The Sunday Times said Thaksin's arrival would raise fears
that Bumi's deal with the Bakries was now dead and that
investors would worry that any deal with Thaksin could be on
less attractive terms.
Bumi and Thaksin declined to comment on the story. A
spokesman for the Bakries also declined to comment.
Bumi's chief executive Nick Von Schirnding said in June that
Bumi had received guarantees that the outstanding $228 million
the company is owed by the Bakries to finalise the deal was