Source: TNK-BPs Russian shareholders AAR might sell stake to Rosneft.

By bne IntelliNews February 7, 2011
As reported by Vedomosti newspaper citing the source close to the deal, Russian shareholders of Russian-British oil major TNK-BP (AAR alliance) are considering selling its stake in the company to Russias largest oil company Rosneft. Reportedly, AARs stake in TNK-BP could be bought for cash and shares of Rosneft. However, head of Rosneft Eduard Khudainatov publically denied that such negotiations were held with TNK-BP. To remind, last week London court suspended the share swap and a creation of joint venture between Rosneft and British BP until February 25 over the appeal of AAR alliance (Alfa group, Access Industries and Renova controlled by tycoons Mikhail Friedman, Leonard Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg, respectively) claiming that Rosnefts and BPs deal is breaking the TNK-BP co-owners agreement, which includes BP having to carry out all oil and gas project in Russia and Ukraine with TNK-BPs cooperation. Reuters then reported that CEO of BP Robert Dudley does not exclude inclusion of TNK-BP to the development of the Arctic shelf, while VP of Rosneft Peter OBrian argued that TNK-BP does not have the necessary technology to be part of the joint venture. Another possible resolutions to the conflict discussed in the local press are direct compensation to TNK-BP or a share in a Rosnefts and BP joint venture. As reported, Rosneft is going to swap 9.5% of its shares for 5% stake in British BP, swap deal amounting to USD 7.8bn. The swapped shared are not going to be sold within at least two years. The deal is goings to make BP the largest shareholder in Rosneft after the Russian government (75.16% stake) and Rosneft the largest shareholder in BP after US investment fund BlackRock (5.9% stake). Two companies are also setting up joint venture (67%-33% shares for Rosnfet and BP, respectively) for developing gas and oil fields in the Artic shelf (with total reserves of about 5bn tons of oil and 10bn m3 of gas, according to PM Vladimir Putin).

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