Nathaniel Rothschild’s NR Holdings and Russian coal company SUEK have dropped out of the race for Asia Resource Minerals. NR Holdings issued a statement announcing its withdrawal after weeks of speculations about the fate of the Indonesian mining company, previously called Bumi.
UK-born financier Nathaniel (Nat) Rothschild, who is also the co-founder of the mining company established in 2010, had recently proposed a major recapitalisation of the debt ridden enterprise, raising his own equity to $94 million, a move that could have given him a majority stake in the company.
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NR Holdings recapitalisation plan was countered by a rival Asian consortium, Asia Coal Energy Ventures that proposed a cash deal for Asia Resource Minerals. The Asian consortium had reportedly reached an agreement with Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank, which held about a quarter of the voting rights in Asia Resource Minerals. This consortium included Indonesia’s influential Widjaja family and Hong Kong’s hedge fund Argyle Street Management. The group reportedly offered to pay £99 million in cash for the mining company.
Nathaniel Rothschild had been fighting for the control of the company ever since he fell out with is the company’s co-founder Bakrie family in early 2014.
The statement jointly issued by NR Holdings and SUEK leaves some room for speculation that they might not have entirely abandoned their plans to acquire Asia Resource Minerals. According to the statement both NR Holdings and SUEK “reserve the right” to make fresh offers for the Indonesian mining company within the next six months.
[Vijeta Uniyal is an Indian journalist and Contributing Editor for Jewish Business News]