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Bumi Resources, What's Inside?

Bakrie strikes back! That's my first impression when I read the news that Bakrie Group, through two of its holdings ie Bakrie & Brothers (BNBR) and Long Haul Holdings Ltd, submitted a proposal to the management of Bumi Plc to buy back shares in Bumi Resources (BUMI) which held by Bumi Plc, at a value of US$ 278 million. However, BNBR and Long Haul won’tt buy all of the shares, but only 18.9%, so that Bumi Plc would still holds 10.3% stake in BUMI (because Bumi Plc is currently holds 29.2% stake BUMI). On the other hand, Bakrie will also divest its 23.8% stake of Bumi Plc, in exchange for the remaining 10.3% shares of BUMI which mentioned earlier. So, if the process goes well, then before Christmas this year, Bakrie will no longer have interests in Bumi Plc, and Bumi Plc will also no longer a shareholder in BUMI.

And how about Berau Coal Energy (BRAU)? Bakrie was also offered to buy back 85% stake of BRAU which held by Bumi Plc, at a value of US$ 947 million. So if the proposal is approved, Bakrie would spend more than US$ 1.2 billion to get out of the ‘takeover trap’ of Bumi Plc, or in this case, Nathaniel Rothschild .

The question, would the process be that easy? Of course not. In a disclosure released by Bumi Plc in London on October 11 yesterday, the management of Bumi Plc said they would consider the offer, but did not said that they will accept it. Well, you could say that from now on, everything can happen. But if Bakrie could make it, to end their partnership with Nathaniel, they would still lose because they had to pay US$ 1.2 billion or around Rp11 trillion to Nathaniel. This is amazing, considering that all this time, Bakrie was almost could take everything from everybody without spending some money or capital, but it did not apply to a man like Nathaniel.

Well, when we come to the possibilities of what could happen in the near future after this Bakrie’s counter, then as it already mentioned above, everything is possible. Therefore, it might be more interesting to consider, what is inside the BUMI (and also BRAU), so the Bakrie Group is desperately defend it? In fact, BUMI is a parent of many great assets, coz’ Bakrie places their acquired mineral resources assets, like coal or other, under BUMI. Okay, here are the details.

1. PT Arutmin Indonesia (Arutmin)

Arutmin is the first asset of BUMI that was acquired in 2001 (detailed story, read Heart is Only for Lovers, Bro!). Arutmin has six coal mines in East Kalimantan with a total concession area of ​​70 thousand hectares, with total assets of US$ 1.4 billion as at June 30, 2012. In 2011, Arutmin produced 24.7 million tons of coal, grew 18.5% compared to the year 2010. Meanwhile, as of June 30, 2012, proven coal reserves of the Company were 348.5 million tons, or sufficient for the next 15 - 20 years, and that does not include the coal resources (which the status could potentially increase to be reserves) as much as 2.3 billion tons. Wow!

2. PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC)

KPC is definitely the greatest asset of BUMI, with assets of US$ 2.4 billion as of June 30, 2012. Located in East Kalimantan (Borneo), in 2011, KPC produced 40.5 million tons of coal, making it the largest coal producers in Indonesia behind Adaro Energy (ADRO). The proven coal reserves of KPC were 1.1 billion tonnes as of June 30, 2012, while its coal resources were 3.5 billion tonnes.

By the way, I have a friend who had a coal mining business in East Kalimantan. And he said that, KPC owns 90 thousand hectares of coal mining concession which is located right in the middle of the largest 'coal ocean' in the island of Borneo. While the other coal companies who are operating in a nearby locations such Harum Energy (HRUM), Indo Tambangraya (ITMG), Bayan Resources (BYAN), etc., they’re just get the ‘coasts’ only. So it wasn’t a surprise when KPC was divested by Beyond Petroleum and Rio Tinto in 2003, many local conglomerates were fighting to acquire it. And indeed, the Bakrie’s victory of the acquisition battle has caused Bakrie to be a great conglomerate, until today.

3. PT Fajar Bumi Sakti (FBS)

FBS is BUMI’s another coal mining company in East Kalimantan. But if compared with KPC, FBS is relatively small with coal resources of 'only' 335 million tons by the end of 2011. Maybe that's why, when Bakrie is reportedly getting hit by financial difficulties, one of the recurring rumor is that they will sell this FBS, to gain some cash. Including when on October 9, in news portal, there were news that mentioned that BUMI would sell FBS to Sampoerna Group, at a price of Rp2 trillion, which was then denied by BUMI’s management.

Although FBS is small and seem insignificant, FBS is actually has a potential to be great in the future, although not as big as KPC. In 2012, the company is estimated to produce up to 1 million tons of coal. But in the coming 2017, the company is projected to be able to produce 10 million tons of coal per year, along with the development of mining infrastructure that has started.

4. PT Pendopo Energy Coal (PEB)

PEB is the most recent coal assets acquired by BUMI, which was acquired in 2009. Conveniently located in Muara Enim, South Sumatra, PEB has coal resources of almost 2 billion tonnes. However, since PEB is not in production because it is still in the exploratory stage, then there is no exact data about the number of proven coal reserves of the company. But if it is true that coal resources owned by PEB reached 2 billion tonnes, then PEB has the potential to be The Next KPC. The District of Enim Muara itself has always been known as the largest ‘coal storehouse’ in Sumatra Island, where one of the largest coal company in Indonesia, PT Bukit Asam (PTBA), also operate there.

5. PT Gorontalo Minerals (Gomin)

Indonesia is not only rich in coal, but also rich in gold and its follower minerals such as copper, silver, and molybdenum. For this reason, Bakrie is also did not want to miss the opportunities in this sector. In December 2010, Bakrie Group through Bumi Resources Minerals (BRMS), which is a subsidiary of the BUMI, obtained an exploration license for gold mining concessions covering an area of ​​36 thousand hectares in Balongo Bone District, Gorontalo Province. As of June 30, 2012, the mine was fully explored, and now has entered the study of feasibility, before then entering the production. In a report released by BRMS on 12 September 2012, Gomin has an estimated 137.2 tonnes of gold proven reserves. This is gold, you know, not coal.

6. PT Citra Palu Minerals (Cipam)

Cipam is another gold mining company owned by BUMI through BRMS, which has five mining concessions covering a total area of 139 thousand hectares in Central and South Sulawesi, or nearly four times larger than the mining concessions ofy Gomin. As well as Gomin, Cipam is currently in the feasibility study process. But so far there are no reports about how much the gold reserves the company has.

7. PT Dairi Prima Mineral (Daprim)

Daprim is mining company of lead, zinc, and iron ore, which is located in North Sumatra. For this company, the activities are still in the exploratory stage. However, based on preliminary estimates which released in February 2011, Daprim had iron ore reserves of 25 million tons, which are sufficient for the next 30 years.

8. PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT)

NNT is probably the second biggest asset of BUMI, after KPC. In 2010, BUMI successfully acquired 24% stake in NNT, a large-scale gold mining company located in Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara. Currently NNT has three mines, ie Batu Hijau, Elang, and Rinti, all of which are located in Sumbawa. At the end of 2011, Batu Hijau mine alone is estimated to have 790 tons of gold reserves! So, it might be argued that NNT is the second largest gold mining company in Indonesia, after the Freeport in Papua. And unlike Gomin, Cipam, and Daprim, which are all still not in production yet, NNT is already in production and generating revenue.

However, Bakrie only holds 24% stake in NNT, so they can not be regarded as the owner of the company. That's why to this day, Bakrie through BUMI is still trying to acquire 7% stake in NNT, which will be divested by its owner, Newmont Corp. So, BUMI will hold a total 31% stake in NNT. Well, if the process is going as planned, the next efforts to acquire the whole company will be easier. Bakrie could just put one person to occupy the position of HR director, for example, and tell him to encourage workers to strike, or any other 'disorders'. Obviously, the Newmont Corp. would uncomfortable, and in the end would chose to exit completely from the NNT, aka sell the remaining shares of the company to Bakrie. It was the same way when Bakrie kicked out BHP Billiton from Arutmin

But until now, Bakrie’s attempt to acquire 7% shares of NNT is hit a steep road. Even for this moment, they can not focus on that, considering that there are some man who are more powerful than they self, namely Nathaniel Rothschild, who is trying to take over BUMI as a whole, including NNT.


Well, for many conglomerates, BUMI is actually very sexy and ‘solid containing’, considering that BUMI contains at least eight valuable assets that have been discussed above. Beyond that, BUMI has also some assets located in overseas, such as Bumi Mauritania SA (Mauritania, West Africa), Konblo Bumi Inc. (Liberia), and Gallo Oil (Republic of Yemen). The three companies are each engaged in the mining of iron ore, gold, and oil and gas. However, all of three are still in the exploratory stage, and there is no clarity about how much the reserve of the resources, and when exactly they will produce. So I assume that the three companies above are not even exists.

Beyond its overseas assets, of the eight companies that have been discussed above, it was only KPC and Arutmin who have contributed significantly to the company's earnings (And also NNT. But because BUMI only holds 24% of its stake, the revenue from NNT is not consolidated, but is considered as income from associates). But still, the presence of KPC and Arutmin are still making BUMI become a valuable company, considering that the coal reserves of the two subsidiaries is quite sufficient for the next 30 years. And that's why Bakrie is desperately defends BUMI from anyone who tries to take it, including Nathaniel. Perhaps the chairman of Bakrie Group, Mr. Nirwan, said this to Nathaniel: ‘I’ve been worked hard to acquiring the assets from here and there. And now you, a rich kid, is just come to take it all??? Sorry kid, not that easy!'

Unfortunately, BUMI is only attractive to large investors. For the retail investors in the market, you can not be the owner of the company by buying the shares in the market, because of your lower position than the ‘bookies’ (except maybe, if you buy BUMI at Rp1 trillion or more). In fact, Bakrie has always making retail investors as a 'commodity' and the source of funds, by fiddling with the stocks. Including, the phrase of ‘saham sejuta umat’, or ‘stocks of a million of people' for BUMI was also created by their own (through the BEI), because they’d know very well that most of the retail investors in Indonesia were like to speculate on ‘roller coaster stocks’.

Okay, then how about BRAU? BRAU has only one asset, namely PT Berau Coal, which owns three coal mines located in Berau, East Kalimantan. As at June 30, 2012, BRAU has total coal reserves of 316.6 million tons, or approximately equivalent to Arutmin. So, BRAU is relatively small when compared to the BUMI, which contains Arutmin, and others. But Bakrie didn’t put BRAU as a BUMI’ subsidiaries, because it wasn’t them who had working hard to take over this company from the previous owner (entrepreneur Ibrahim Risjad), butRecapital Group, while Bakrie was simply provide the funds. One of Recapital’ official, Mr. Rosan Roeslani, is a direct protege of Nirwan Bakrie. 

Related to the Bakrie vs Rothschild saga, maybe the Recapital’ boys were only could sit and watch without doing nothing. But what's interesting to note is the position of the Samin Tan, the owner of Borneo Lumbung Energi & Metal (BORN), where the question is, where would his position be, in case if Bakrie had getting out from Bumi Plc? Because Mr. Tan's is also holds 23.8% shares in Bumi Plc. Would Bakrie Group just left him alone? In an announcement released by on last October 11, the management stated that they are being discussed with the Bakrie party, relating to dissolution or termination of their partnership with Nathaniel. But so far, there hasn’t been any decision. Let see the next episode.

Original article was written at October 15, 2012

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