Shareholders of Indonesian coal miner PT Bumi Resources have approved a $1.6bn share sale plan to companies controlled by billionaire Anthoni Salim, as reported by Reuters.

As part of the share placement plan, Bumi will issue up to 200 billion new shares, 85% of which will be acquired by Mach Energy.

Treasure Global Investments (TGIL) will subscribe to the remaining 15%.

The move is part of PT Bumi Resources’ efforts to reduce its longstanding debt.

According to a prospectus released before the shareholder meeting, Salim holds an 85% stake in TGIL, while Mach Energy is jointly controlled by Bakrie Group and Salim Group.

Reuters quoted Bumi director Dileep Srivastava as saying that the share sale plan was approved ‘almost unanimously’.

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Srivastava added: “The utilisation of those proceeds is to repay in full existing debt, so the company should be as good as debt-free.”

Under the prospectus, Bumi Resources has around $1.5bn of outstanding debt following the restructuring.

The company previously underwent a court-led debt restructuring process in 2016.

Once the share sale has closed, the new investors will own a combined stake of around 58% in Bumi Resources. More than 70% of Bumi’s shares are currently owned by public shareholders.

Following the share sale, Bumi will be jointly controlled by Salim and Bakrie Group, a company led by Indonesian tycoon Aburizal Bakrie.

Srivastava said that the company can then focus on strengthening its coal business before looking into non-coal opportunities.

Bumi will continue to focus on developing a coal gasification plant, as well as assessing investment prospects in other minerals and renewable energy.

Based in Jakarta, Bumi aims to be a ‘world-class, global operator within the energy and mining sectors’.

The company’s operations are divided into two subsets, namely Coal, Oil & Gas and Minerals/Non-Coal.