* Sampoerna in talks to buy 50 pct in Fajar Bumi Sakti for$200 mln
* Deal aimed at paying down some of Bumi's $3.9 bln debt
(Adds comments from Sampoerna)
By Janeman Latul
JAKARTA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Sampoerna group, one ofIndonesia's leading conglomerates, is leading a consortium oflocal investors that is in talks to buy a 50 percent stake in PTFajar Bumi Sakti, a coal unit of Bumi Resources , foraround $200 million, sources said.
The move is part of a plan by Bumi Resources to pay downsome of its $3.9 billion debt, which includes $1.5 billion owedto sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp .
The deal may still fail if the parties involved can't agreeon the valuation, the sources, who had direct knowledge of thematter, said on Tuesday. The sources did not want to beidentified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Dileep Srivastava, a Bumi Resources director, declined tocomment.
"It is in our nature to look for opportunities forprospective investments in Indonesia," said A. Putranto, anexecutive at Sampoerna Strategic, the investment holding firm ofthe group, in an emailed statement.
"We are open to possibilities to expand our business inother industries such as, but not limited to, mining. Inrelation to the above topic, we have not made any commitmentwith any company or group of companies on investment in coalmining industry," Putranto said.
Bumi Resources is an affiliate company of London-listed BumiPlc , created in a partnership between Indonesia'spowerful Bakrie Group and financier Nat Rothschild.
In late September, Bumi Plc launched a probe into potentialfinancial irregularities of over $500 million at its Indonesianaffiliates, driving down the firms' share prices.
It has a 29 percent stake in Bumi Resources.
Bakrie Group firms have already been under heavy investorselling pressure this year because of high debt costs, and theplan to sell assets is the latest effort to show the group'sability to raise cash to shore up confidence.
Fajar Bumi Sakti forecasts 2012 coal production at 1 milliontonnes. Bumi Resources says it will produce 75 million tonnes ofcoal this year.
(Editing by Matthew Bigg and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
Keywords: BUMI SAMPOERNA/