TNK-BP Russian chiefs sound out Hayward and Browne

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The Independent Online

Russian oligarchs who ran the oil group TNK-BP with BP have sounded out two former chief executives from the UK oil giant about investing jointly in international oil projects.

German Khan, one of the four Soviet-born businessmen who shared control of TNK-BP with BP for a decade, met Lord Browne and Tony Hayward with other potential deal partners in London last month, sources told Reuters. Mr Khan, who in effect heads TNK-BP and is Mikhail Fridman's partner in the Alfa consortium, is understood to have sought advice and broached potential partnerships.

The Russian state oil company Rosneft is on the verge of completing a $55bn (£37bn) takeover of TNK-BP, creating the largest publicly listed oil firm by output, pumping the equivalent of 4.6 million barrels of oil per day.

The Alfa-Access-Renova consortium will receive $28bn for their 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP. Alfa will get half of that and wants to reinvest much of the money in oil and gas. "Life after TNK-BP is getting closer – the three groups will go their different ways. Alfa made their name in oil and gas and telecoms, and intend to continue to do so," one source said.

The other two Russian partners, Viktor Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik, are expected to bow out and focus on other ventures and charity work.

Mr Hayward is now at Genel, a producer focused on Kurdistan, backed by Nat Rothschild. Lord Browne is a partner in Riverstone, a private equity fund focused on energy.