Bumi shares surge as Bakrie family proposes split

Shares in the London-listed Indonesian coal miner Bumi have surged after Indonesia's powerful Bakrie family proposed to split from the firm.

Bumi shares ended the day up 8%, on top of a 40% increase on Thursday.

The family has offered to buy back its assets from Bumi for an estimated $1.4bn (£873m).

Bumi owns a stake in key Bakrie assets and there have been tensions between the two over potential irregularities at one of the Bakrie firms.

In Indonesia, miner PT Bayan Resources jumped 9.1% and shares of Asia's biggest thermal coal exporter, Bumi Resources, rose as much as 5.6%.

Bumi said that it received a request from the Bakrie Group to cancel their indirect 23.8% shareholding, in exchange for an equivalent value of PT Bumi Resources shares representing 10.3% of the total outstanding share capital.

"The Board is considering the share exchange proposal and will make a recommendation to shareholders. It will also consider the offer to buy back the remaining 18.9% shareholding in Bumi," the firm said.

If completed, the deal will mark the end of a high-profile association that has been marred by growing differences between the Bakrie family and Nathaniel Rothschild, the co-founder of Bumi.

Move on?

Relations between the two turned sour late last year after Mr Rothschild called for a radical clean-up at PT Bumi Resources, one of the firms owned by the Bakrie family, in which Bumi holds a 29% stake.

Last month, Bumi said it had launched a probe into "potential financial and other irregularities" at the firm.

The deteriorating relations between the two key shareholders of the firm, have stoked fears among investors and resulted in a sharp fall in the firm's shares in recent months.

The company's stock has lost more than two-thirds over the past 12 months.

Analysts said that the proposal by the Bakrie family was good news for the firm's shareholders.

"Valuation aside, this looks like good news for Bumi Plc, in our view, as it could walk away with its reputation intact and some cash in the bank," analysts at London-based brokerage Numis were quoted as saying by Reuters.

"Losing its main assets would be a disappointment, but given the soggy coal markets and dark cloud surrounding the company, this might be a good way to move on."

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