Some of Bumi’s leading independent investors said they were willing to back an alternative proposal from Nat Rothschild to restructure the coal miner, including supporting a $270m (£167m) rights issue.
The Bumi board last week turned down an initial proposal, but one of the biggest independent shareholders told The Sunday Telegraph that Mr Rothschild’s was “the better offer on the table”.
“This is not carte blanche support. Rothschild’s management team has to be right. But with all of that in consideration, then yes, we do support him and would back a rights issue.”
It is understood that interest in the planned cash-call was so strong that subscriptions reached $350m, although the proposal only outlined $270m.
However, the Bakrie family, who have tabled an alternative proposal and own 23.7pc of the company, said Mr Rothschild would not muster the necessary support. A spokesman for the Bakries added: “Rather than attempting to parlay his limited economic interest in Bumi into a controlling or blocking stake, we politely suggest he surrender those bonus shares as the company he promoted has been a manifest disappointment.”
The Takeover Panel is due to rule on whether Rosan Roeslani, a non-executive director, and the Bakrie family — who together own 43.5pc of the company in economic terms and 27.4pc in voting terms — should be declared a “concert party” and forced to reduce their voting stake.
Mr Rothschild said: "Minority shareholders want an alternative to the [Bakries’] proposal, which we intend to deliver, and will result in Bumi plc becoming a best-in-class company.”