Rothschild writes to Bumi over loss of confidence in investigation

Legal investigation was launched into possible wrongdoing at some of Bumi’s operations

Financier Nat Rothschild said on Thursday he had written to London-listed miner Bumi to express his loss of confidence in an independent investigation being carried out into possible wrongdoing at some of Bumi’s operations.

Rothschild and Bumi co-founder the Bakrie family have been at loggerheads for months in a battle over the group and its future, exacerbated by a legal inquiry being led by London law firm Macfarlanes into wrongdoing at its Indonesian operations.

Rothschild said leaks of material purportedly from the legal investigation to media in recent days were cause for concern. “The board has manifestly failed to protect the integrity of the Macfarlanes process, and minority shareholders have no reason to believe that the Macfarlanes’ investigation is either independent or impartial.” The two sides set up the venture in 2010 with the aim of bringing promising Indonesian mining assets to London investors. The Bakries now, however, want to wind down the London venture and said in October that they would pull their assets out of London-listed Bumi Plc. Rothschild hopes to keep Bumi alive and has sought to counter part of that plan by calling for a meeting which could change the make-up of the board.

The legal investigation was launched after the discovery of possible wrongdoing at some of the assets – including part-owned Bumi Resources, the jewel in the Bakrie crown. Rothschild’s investment vehicle NRI said Bumi should appoint an independent lawyer to review matters relating the investigation. No one was available to comment for Bumi.

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