Oligarchs to bid for half of BP stake

AAR, the consortium of Russian billionaires that owns half the TNK-BP oil joint venture, said it was preparing to bid for a further 25 per cent stake after BP put its 50 per cent holding up for sale last month.

In an unusual approach to the bidding process, AAR said it would notify BP of its intention to bid for half of its stake in TNK-BP on 19 July.

A BP spokesman said: "If AAR does express an interest, we will consider it alongside the indications of interest that we have already received".