Bloomberg News

Fridman Says Billionaires Won't Sell TNK-BP Stake for 2 Years

June 24, 2008

Mikhail Fridman said he and his billionaire partners won't sell their 50 percent stake in BP Plc (BP/)'s TNK-BP for at least two years and plan to increase pressure on the British oil company to fire Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley.

The investors will intensify their effort to push BP to improve TNK-BP's performance, shareholder representative Stan Polovets said today, confirming remarks Fridman made earlier to Reuters.

Fridman said neither OAO Gazprom nor OAO Rosneft, Russia's two state-run energy companies, would buy stakes in TNK-BP within two years, according to Polovets.

BP, which owns the other half of the joint venture, is locked in a dispute over strategy and staffing. Billionaires Fridman, German Khan, Viktor Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik have called for Dudley's resignation for favoring BP's interest over their own, complaining that TNK-BP's share price and total production growth have lagged behind other Russian oil companies.

Polovets is the CEO of AAR, which represents a group of three companies controlled by the billionaires.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucian Kim in Moscow at lkim3@bloomberg.net; Torrey Clark in Moscow at tclark8@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Guy Collins in London guycollins@bloomberg.net.


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