Bloomberg News

BP Partners Say Indicated Interest in Buying TNK-BP Stake

June 01, 2012

BP’s billionaire partners in TNK-BP, Russia’s third-largest oil producer, made an indicative proposal about a month ago to buy the U.K. company’s 50 percent holding.

Alfa-Access-Renova, the group that represents BP’s partners, “sent indicative terms for a deal, which are still on the table for discussion,” said Stan Polovets, AAR’s chief executive officer.

BP and the billionaires’ relationship deteriorated last year as the U.K. explorer sought to forge an alliance with Russia’s biggest oil producer, state-run OAO Rosneft. AAR said the deal infringed on TNK-BP’s right to pursue new opportunities in Russia for BP. The fraught partnership no longer meets the shareholders’ interests, billionaire Mikhail Fridman said yesterday, after stepping down as TNK-BP CEO earlier this week.

BP said today it’s received expressions of interest in its TNK-BP stake and may pursue a sale. David Nicholas, a BP spokesman, declined to comment on who bid.

TNK-BP’s traded unit slumped as much as 11 percent to 69.52 rubles, the lowest since the shares started trading on the Micex stock exchange. The BP and AAR venture holds more than 96 percent of the listed entity.

“Investors are afraid that the potential buyer is a state company, which may threaten the dividend yield story,” Dmitry Loukashov, an oil and gas analyst at VTB Capital, said by phone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at sbierman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net


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