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Bumi CEO: Vote Is a Mandate to Get on With Our Strategy

Nick von Schirnding, chief executive officer of Bumi Plc.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Nick von Schirnding, chief executive officer of Bumi Plc.

The chief executive of London-listed miner Bumi Nick von Schirnding told CNBC that the outcome of Thursday's shareholder vote had given the company's management a mandate to get on with its strategy.

Shareholders rejected financier Nat Rothschild's attempt to oust 12 of the 14 board members and the company's current chairman and chief executive.

Rothschild's bid to join the board received only 37 percent of the votes.

"[The vote] is a clear message, in my view, that the very openly hostile confrontational approach by Nat into all matters that pertain to Bumi has not worked and shareholders won't endorse that, it won't get us anywhere," von Schirnding said on CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box".

The company's shares have tumbled as a result of a drop in coal prices and a bitter boardroom battle between Rothschild and Indonesia's Bakrie family.

Rothschild, who helped set up Bumi, which listed in London in 2011, called Thursday's victory for the board "pyrrhic".

He has also alleged that $1 billion in money has gone missing from the company.

On Friday, von Schirnding said the issue was a "very serious matter" which was being investigated. He also said a vast majority of these allegations happened before Bumi became involved and before the current board was in place.

"It would be foolish now to come out with all of our findings during a live investigation, it's a bit like a police investigation, you just wouldn't do that. It would also potentially impact our ability to claim compensation," he said. "We are pursuing it with vigor, we have gone into Indonesia, we are talking to the Indonesian regulator."

Von Schirnding said the company will separate from the Bakrie Group "in a few months" and will have a "refreshed, smaller board with an independent Chairman."

He said the company is about to appoint an independent search firm to find a new chairman after the current chairman Samin Tan said he would step down.

The Bumi CEO also said the company will have a clear focus around its operating subsidiary Berau, the coal mining firm in Indonesia, majority owned by Bumi.

"We have already made significant changes in their management, we have changed the mine plan, put unprofitable capex (capital expenditure) on hold. So there's a lot going on there and we will make further changes there," he added.

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