Bumi says misuse of funds at Indonesian units not established by probe

London-listed coal miner Bumi Plc said an independent probe had not been able to establish that funds were misused at its Indonesian units, with documentary evidence having been illegally obtained illegally and key witnesses refusing to cooperate.

Bumi, one of the world's largest thermal coal exporters, was established in 2010 by Nat Rothschild, scion of the Rothschild banking family, and Indonesia's politically influential Bakrie family.

The two sides, however, have been at loggerheads over the future of the company, which had become emblematic of concerns about the governance of foreign resources firms listed in London.

The Bakries intend to exit the venture and take back the operational assets they brought in, while Rothschild wants the venture to continue without the Bakries and a change of board.

The recent months have seen the battleground for the founding investors shift to the independent investigation into allegations of misuse and misappropriation of funds at Bumi's Indonesian operating assets, primarily Bumi Resources.

"Circumstantial evidence supports a number of the allegations but, due to the unwillingness of key parties to be interviewed and provide information as well as provenance issues, the allegations have not been substantiated," Bumi said yesterday.