* 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 of Indonesia's leading conglomerates, is leading a consortium of local investors that is in talks to buy a 50 percent stake in PT Fajar Bumi Sakti, a coal unit of Bumi Resources , for around $200 million, sources said.
The move is part of a plan by Bumi Resources to pay down some of its $3.9 billion debt, which includes $1.5 billion owed to sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp .
The deal may still fail if the parties involved can't agree on the valuation, the sources, who had direct knowledge of the matter, said on Tuesday. The sources did not want to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Dileep Srivastava, a Bumi Resources director, declined to comment.
"It is in our nature to look for opportunities for prospective investments in Indonesia," said A. Putranto, an executive at Sampoerna Strategic, the investment holding firm of the group, in an emailed statement.
"We are open to possibilities to expand our business in other industries such as, but not limited to, mining. In relation to the above topic, we have not made any commitment with any company or group of companies on investment in coal mining industry," Putranto said.
Bumi Resources is an affiliate company of London-listed Bumi Plc , created in a partnership between Indonesia's powerful Bakrie Group and financier Nat Rothschild.
In late September, Bumi Plc launched a probe into potential financial irregularities of over $500 million at its Indonesian affiliates, driving down the firms' share prices.
It has a 29 percent stake in Bumi Resources.
Bakrie Group firms have already been under heavy investor selling pressure this year because of high debt costs, and the plan to sell assets is the latest effort to show the group's ability to raise cash to shore up confidence.
Fajar Bumi Sakti forecasts 2012 coal production at 1 million tonnes. Bumi Resources says it will produce 75 million tonnes of coal this year.
(Editing by Matthew Bigg and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
Keywords: BUMI SAMPOERNA/