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Nathaniel Rothschild clears way for Sinarmas unit to acquire Asia Resource Minerals shares

JAKARTA (rambuenergy.com) – Nathaniel Rotschild through its NR Holdings Limited finally accepts the improved offer made by Asia Coal Energy Ventures Limited (ACE), a member of Sinar Mas Group owned by Indonesia’s tycoon Eka Tjipta Wijaya, to acquire issued shares of Asia Resources Minerals.

Asia Resources Minerals Plc, previously called Bumi Plc (Vallar Plc), on Monday (June 8) said that ACE has revised up its cash offer to 56 pence per ARMS ordinary share from 41 pence per ARMS share previously. The improved offer was 37 percent higher from the original offer and valuing the company at over US$200 million from US$150 million previously.

Asia Resources noted that it has obtained “an irrevocable undertaking” from NRH and Nathaniel Rothschild to accept the ACE cash offer in respect of ARMS shares owned by them (representing approximately 17.2 percent of ARMS shares) and to not oppose the ACE offer.

“The company notes that, as part of this irrevocable undertaking, NRH has undertaken not to progress, encourage or assist the NRH Recapitalization and, consequently, this transaction does not presently appear to represent a deliverable plan for the company,” ARM said in a statement.

Consequently, NR Holdings has taken off its earlier intention to underwrite a US$100 million open offer following the increased ACE takeover offer.

Asia Resource Minerals said that it will recommend shareholders to vote in favour of the improved takeover offer made by Asia Coal Energy at a general meeting to be held on June 29, 2015.

ARMS is an FTSE listed resources company with an 84.7 percent controlling interest in PT Berau, the fifth-largest thermal coal producer in Indonesia.

Asia Resources Minerals has suffered from a number of financial and operational issues which have been exacerbated by low coal price environment. Therefore, the company needs to refinance its debt repayment of US$450 million in bonds by July 8 and US$500 million in March 2017.

ACE is a newly incorporated BVI company to be used for the purpose of the possible offer. It is managed by ASML, Hong Kong based special situation hedge fund manager with approximately US$850 million under management. ACE is being funded by the Sinar Mas Group,  one of Indonesia’s largest business groups with holdings in pulp and paper, financial services, agribusiness, real estate, energy and telecommunication.

Sinar Mas group already had PT Golden Energy Mines Tbk, an established coal miner and operator listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange, with sales in 2014 of over 9 million tons and over 600 million tons of coal reserves. (*)

Edited by Roffie Kurniawan (roffie.kurniawan@rambuenergy.com)

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