Indonesia's Bakrie family to sell part stake in Bumi Plc for $800 mn to repay loan

Indonesia's coking-coal producer, PT Borneo Lumbung Energy plans to buy half of PT Bakrie & Brothers' 47-per cent stake in London-listed coal company Bumi Plc for more than $800 million, The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the deal.

The deal would allow the Bakrie family to pay most of its $1.35 billion overdue loan that Credit Suisse arranged on 2 March against the Bakrie Group's stake in Bumi as collateral for the syndicated loans.

The move comes after Bakrie's talks with Switzerland-based commodities giant Glencore for a $900-million loan to refinance the Credit Suisse loan did not materialise.

A slump in Bumi's share price bought the deadline for repayment forward from March 2012, because the value of Bumi was no longer enough to cover the loan.

Borneo Lumbung, controlled by Indonesian investor Samin Tan, is Indonesia's only coking coal-mining company that mines coal used in making steel.

Borneo Lumbung hopes to use its expertise in developing new mines and its stake in Bumi to unlock the billions of dollars worth of unexploited coal assets Bumi controls in Indonesia through subsidiaries, the paper quoting people familiar with its thinking said.