Fresh blow to Nat Rothschild in Indonesian coal boardroom brawl

Banking empire scion Nat Rothschild's Bumi plc, which owns chunks of the Bakrie dynasty of Indonesia's coal assets, has suffered a fresh blow.

A corporate governance advisory service, ISS, recommended on Thursday that Bumi shareholders vote against proposals from Rothschild that would see the sacking of 12 of the 14 directors of the London-listed firm. reports ISS said shareholders "should support the removal of the representative of Indonesia’s Bakrie family – Nalinkant Rathod – and the two representatives of Samin Tan, Bumi’s current chairman – Scott Merrillees and Alexander Ramlie – but vote against Mr Rothschild’s remaining proposals," which include getting rid of independent directors.

Rothschild's plans suffered a similar setback last month when the only two directors he planned to keep said they were against the proposal and would resign if it went through.

Bumi plc was created in 2010 when Rothschild, descendant of the founder of the two-centuries old banking empire, used a cash shell, Vallar, to list the coal and other mining interest in London which provided the members of Sumatran family – one of whom, eldest brother Aburizal, has a good chance of becoming president of the world's fourth most populous nation – a high profile in the West.

But only two years later, Bumi plc is collapsing amid bitter recriminations between the Rothschild and the Bakries, a probe by the UK market regulator, allegations of financial impropriety, email hacking and disastrous derivatives trades.

Both parties have put together deals to dismantle Bumi Plc that have gone nowhere. Nat Rothschild is no longer on the Bumi Plc board and its CEO, a Bakrie representative, stepped down in December.

Everything will come to a head on February 21 when shareholders will vote on the proposal by Rothschild supported by among other big names Robert Friedland, the legendary mining financier.

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