(Reuters) - Asia Resource Minerals’ ARMS.L top shareholder, Indonesian businessman Samin Tan, is trying to regain control of the struggling coal miner by seeking to appoint directors to the board that support him, the company said on Tuesday.
Asia Resource Minerals (ARMS), formerly known as Bumi, has been hit by internal battles and a plunge in coal prices. Its shares lost 98 percent of their value since its London listing in 2010 and the firm now faces a hefty debt.
Tan, a former chairman of the Indonesia-focused miner, who became the largest investor in the company following a restructuring plan, is battling his own debt issues. He is not currently a controlling shareholder.
He has been considering the sale of assets including all or part of his stake in ARMS to help repay banks Standard Chartered (STAN.L) and Raiffeisen RBI.VI close to $1 billion.
On Tuesday ARMS said it had received a letter from Tan’s investment vehicle, Borneo, requesting a general meeting of the company to replace some board members with his supporters so that Borneo-nominated directors make up a majority.
A holder of 5 percent or more of the voting shares has the right to call a general meeting, the company explained, adding that it expects to hold the meeting in early 2015.
Tan is no longer a controlling shareholder in ARMS since last month, when one of his creditors, Austrian bank Raiffeisen took over roughly half of his voting rights.
Two sources close to the company doubted Raiffeisen would support Tamin’s proposal.
ARMS, with a market value of about $20 million and debts of almost $1 billion, urgently needs to refinance. It hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey as debt adviser last month.
Thee company is considering a rights issue, proposed by the co-founder of Bumi, British financier Nathaniel Rothschild.
Editing by Louise Heavens