The internecine warfare on the Bumi board makes for gripping entertainment. The articles below report on the ebb and flow of the struggle between ousted Nat Rothschild, whose financial machinations brought Bumi to the London Stock Exchange, and the Bakrie family with their ally, Bumi Chairman Samin Tan.
Mining researcher Roger Moody drew attention to some questionable dealing by the company’s major shareholders at Bumi’s AGM last June. He was ignored. The company has since seen the whole affair blow up in its face, and its share price has plummeted.
But investors concerned about the share price, and the dodgy dealing, would do well to show similar interest in the human rights and environmental issues that were raised at last June’s AGM as well. It’s not only investors who are suffering from the company’s cavalier behaviour: it’s workers, communities and ecosystems. But when London Mining Network and friends raised these issues at last year’s AGM, we were accused of ‘ranting’. Will investors start listening now?
Rothschild proposes Brock Gill for Bumi CEO
In addition to proposing that 12 of the current 14 directors of Bumi be shown the door, Rothschild wants Brock Gill to take charge. Gill helped get the wildly controversial Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia up and running for his even more controversial boss, Robert Friedland. (It’s now being managed by Rio Tinto and is under fire from local herders and an alliance of organizations across the world, including London Mining Network.) In this interview in the Daily Telegraph, Gill complains of air pollution in Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, noting that it is caused by burning coal and is “incredibly bad for your lungs.” He also says he is looking forward to the prospect of joining Bumi to:  “….get involved, go live in Indonesia and mine things. We are digging black stuff out of the ground, throwing it in a truck, taking it somewhere else and selling it to people. That is what I’m here for.” The black stuff is coal. It gets burnt. The pollution is incredibly bad for the lungs. But perhaps Gill will make sure he’s not around the air pollution he’ll be helping to stoke up.
See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/mining/9860789/Man-from-Mongolia-waits-in-wings-to-take-charge-at-Bumi.html.
What did Bumi chairman Samin Tan know about $1bn ‘irregularities’?
Bumi’s directors were given a document last September showing that chairman Samin Tan was alerted to more than $1bn (£637m) of alleged financial wrongdoing at the group’s Indonesian assets as long ago as November 2011.
See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/mining/9856395/What-did-Bumi-chairman-Samin-Tan-know-about-1bn-irregularities.html.
Fake Wikipedia researcher hacked Bumi chairman’s computer – report
Investigation by private security company suggests hackers infected Samin Tan’s laptop with malicious software, shortly before whistleblower report plunged mining company into chaos.
See http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jan/11/fake-wikipedia-researcher-hack-bumi-chairman.
Bumi and Rothschild’s plan under attack from investor body
A leading investor body has launched a withering attack on the beleaguered natural resources company Bumi, but dealt a blow yesterday to founder Nat Rothschild’s attempt to oust its board. Pirc, which advises some of Britain’s biggest pension funds on voting decisions, said the fact that the scandal-hit business was allowed to list in London was an “indictment” of the listing rules.
See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bumi-and-rothschilds-plan-under-attack-from-investor-body-8488072.html.
Schroders’ Buxton backs Rothschild in Bumi clash
Schroders head of UK equities Richard Buxton has backed financier Nat Rothschild in his ongoing clash with coal miner Bumi plc. Rothschild is attempting to replace 12 of the 14 directors on the board of the coal miner and has received backing from Buxton.
See http://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/investments/schroders-buxton-backs-rothschild-in-bumi-clash/1063937.article.
For reports on last year’s Bumi AGM and concerns raised about corrupt dealing, see http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=11759&l=1 http://londonminingnetwork.org/2012/06/notes-of-the-bumi-agm-14-june-2012-institute-of-directors-pall-mall-london/ http://londonminingnetwork.org/2012/06/bumi-falls-at-first-hurdle/ http://londonminingnetwork.org/2012/06/bumis-utterly-extraordinary-agm/ http://londonminingnetwork.org/2012/09/bumi-we-said-so-didnt-we/