Bumi shareholder Standard Life backs board

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February 19, 2013 10:14 PM EST

Standard Life Investments, one of the largest shareholders in Bumi Plc , said on Tuesday it would support the coal miner's board and vote against proposals from co-founder Nat Rothschild to oust 12 of 14 current directors.

Rothschild last month called for a meeting to allow shareholders to vote on his plan to revive Bumi by bringing in a new board and a more operational focus, without the participation of his one-time partners, the Bakrie family.

The alternative is to back a plan led by the current board, including an agreed split with the Bakries. Rothschild has cast doubt on whether that split will go ahead.

"After careful consideration of the resolutions we believe the restructured Bumi plc board has the best prospects of exiting the Bakrie relationship and maximising long term value for the remaining shareholders," David Cumming, Head of Equities at Standard Life Investments said, adding the group would support the board and vote against all resolutions to be considered on Thursday.

"We have made clear to Bumi the importance we attach to the successful restructuring of its board and the strengthening of its executive team. These are pre requisites for restoring confidence and delivering the returns shareholders expect."

Standard Life Investments holds 2.17 percent of Bumi's issued share capital.

(Reporting by Sinead Cruise and Clara Ferreira-Marques)

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