TPG Offers $1.28 Billion for 35% Stake in Bumi

JAKARTA (Reuters) – A consortium led by U.S. private equity firm Texas Pacific Group has offered $1.28 billion for a 35 percent stake in Indonesian coal miner PT Bumi Resources Tbk (BUMI.JK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a local paper reported on Friday, citing an investment banking source.

PT Bakrie & Brothers Tbk (BNBR.JK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the holding company controlled by Indonesia’s wealthiest family, said this month it hopes to raise $1.2 billion by selling off assets, including a stake in Bumi Resources.

The proceeds would be used to pay off its debt.

Bisnis Indonesia newspaper said Texas Pacific’s offer translated to 1,846 rupiah ($0.186) a share, lower than Bumi’s closing price of 2,175 rupiah on Oct 6, before the share was suspended.

The paper said the Bakrie family originally asked for $2 billion for the stake.

“During the negotiations, the selling price has come down to $1.6 billion. The negotiation is nearly final, it’s all about the price,” the paper quoted the source as saying.

“In that consortium there are two state-owned miners, but their portion is small,” the source said, adding the Bakrie group does not want to give up control over Bumi and insisted on having the option to buy back 20 percent of Bumi’s stake over three years.

The Indonesia Composite Index .JKSE had dropped by nearly a fifth since the exchange suspended trading in Bumi’s shares on October 7.

“We are talking to a fair number of people who are interested, discussions are fairly advanced with the various people who are showing interest,” Dileep Srivastava, a director at PT Bakrie & Brothers, told Reuters.

He declined to name the parties or give a timeframe for when an agreement is expected to be finalised.

TPG was not immediately available for comment. ($1 = 9,940 rupiah)

(Reporting by Harry Suhartono, editing by Sugita Katyal)