Nat Rothschild ends five-year row by selling stake in Asia Coal Energy Ventures

Nat Rothschild ends five-year row by selling stake in Asia Coal Energy Ventures

Nat Rothschild (Screenshot from WOCHit by YouTube).

British financier Nat Rothschild has ended a conflict-ridden five year foray into the Indonesian coal market by accepting an offer for his stake in Asia Resource Minerals (LON:ARMS), formerly known as Bumi.

Rothschild’s investment vehicle, NR Holdings, agreed Monday to sell its 17.2% stake in the London-listed coal miner to Asia Coal Energy Ventures (ACE), a consortium led by Indonesia’s Widjaja family.

The deal values the company at more than $200 million (£131 million).

There is no suggestion that this is a good outcome for shareholders,” Rothschild said in an e-mailed statement. “But it is the best short-term outcome given the difficulties that Arms would have faced had it attempted to recover, via a lengthy and costly litigation process, the $173 million that was misappropriated by the former Indonesian controlling shareholders and management of this company.”

Rothschild, descendant of the founder of a two-centuries old banking empire, co-founded Bumi in 2010 with Indonesia’s politically influential Bakrie family.

Shareholder battles and a sharp decline in coal prices hit the Indonesia-focused miner in the years to come, causing its shares to sink by more than 90% since its London listing.

In 2013 Bumi changed its name and barely a year later, the coal miner became the focus of 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.