Rosneft may buy BP's stake in TNK-BP

 

Rosneft, the Russian state oil giant, has emerged as a suitor for BP's stake in the troubled TNK-BP joint venture, which it put up for sale after "unsolicited indications of interest" from unnamed parties.

Although Rosneft's chief executive, Igor Sechin, denied making an approach, his group is understood to be among those to have informally indicated an interest in BP's 50 per cent holding.

BP said it was obliged to "pursue a potential sale" to comply with the requirement to maximise shareholder value. The energy giant would be glad to extricate itself from dealings with AAR, the consortium of four Russian billionaires which owns the other half of TNK-BP. Their fraught, nine-year relationship has included court cases and claims of harassment by Bob Dudley, then head of TNK-BP and now BP's chief executive, which forced his exit from Russia in 2008.

The market welcomed BP's decision, sending its shares up by as much as 4 per cent at one point.

However, analysts were unsure how much its stake might fetch. Although BP and Rosneft almost bought out AAR's holding for $32bn (£20.9bn) last year, that deal was never completed and TNK-BP's value has since tumbled, meaning BP's share could be worth closer to $20bn.

Last year, AAR went to court to block a tie-up between BP and Rosneft on the basis that the TNK-BP shareholder agreement entitled them to first refusal on any opportunities in Russia.

On Monday, Mikhail Fridman, the AAR consortium leader, quit as chief executive in a move seen as preparing the ground for a Russian attempt to seize control of the venture.

Mr Fridman told Russia's Kommersant newspaper that the joint venture was paralysed and could only prosper if one of the two partners took full control.

The prospect of state-owned Rosneft buying BP's stake in TNK-BP would likely raise fears within AAR that the venture could effectively be assumed by the Russian government. As a result, AAR may eventually consider selling its own stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft, giving BP the Russian partner it wanted, but failed to get, last year.

Alternatively, BP sells the stake, thereby exiting a venture which has brought it much strife.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea