Indonesia businessman asks court to block sale of local company’s Newmont stake – by Eveline Danubrata and Yuddy Cahya (Reuters U.S. – April 12, 2016)

JAKARTA, April 12 An Indonesian businessman has filed a request to a Jakarta court to put on hold any deal that would involve transferring ownership of a nearly 18 percent stake held by a local company in Newmont Mining Corp’s Indonesian operations.

Gustaaf Merukh, who owns a stake in the local company PT Pukuafu Indah, is suing other shareholders in Pukuafu, including his own relatives, according to court documents dated Feb. 5 seen by Reuters and an interview with his spokesman.

Merukh says these shareholders faked his consent to use Pukuafu’s 17.8 percent stake in Newmont’s local unit, PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara, as collateral to get a $600 million loan in 2012 from the U.S. parent, Choky Simanjuntak, head of Merukh’s legal and public relations team, told Reuters by phone.

The request could hamper the effort of another Indonesian group – which includes prominent businessman Arifin Panigoro – to buy a controlling stake in Newmont Nusa Tenggara, operator of Indonesia’s second-biggest copper and gold mine.

Merukh has asked the Jakarta court to prevent any transaction involving Pukuafu’s stake before he receives compensation for having his rights “eliminated”, among other claims, according to the court documents.

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