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TNK-BP Russian shareholders may sell their share for cash and stock - source

July 17, 2012, 4:04 UTC+3
On June 1, BP notified officially its partners about a possible selling of its share in the TNK-BP group
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LONDON, July 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian shareholders of TNK-BP oil company of the AAR consortium suggested Britain’s BP bought AAR’s share in TNK-BP for cash and stock, Stan Polovets AAR’s CEO said in an interview with Reuters published on Monday.

On June 1, BP notified officially its partners about a possible selling of its share in the TNK-BP group. The British company said it may sell all 50 percents of shares. Analysts say BP intends to earn up to 30 billion dollars for them.

Polovets said a week earlier a participant in the AAR consortium Mikhail Fridman had in New York and Boston negotiations with investors owning shares of BP.

"The message Mikhail Fridman delivered was that the partnership in its current form has run its course," Polovets said. "The shareholders need to find a way to realign ownership interests and eliminate the internal contradictions that are tearing TNK-BP apart."

He said AAR's preferred option would be to exchange its stake in TNK-BP for cash and a stake of 10-12 percent in BP. This variant could let BP develop partner relations with Russia’s state-run Rosneft and Gazprom.

"In the meantime, the management of BP could focus on stabilizing its operations elsewhere and grow its business outside of Russia so that the Russian barrels don't represent such a high percentage of BP's reserves and production," Polovets said.

Meanwhile, analysts say for BP’s management exchange of AAR’s share in TNK-BP for shares of BP is not attractive as in this case AAR would become a biggest shareholder of the British company.

According to TNK-BP’s shareholder agreement, on Sunday expires the time limit, where AAR should present its suggestions on buying a share of BP in TNK-BP. After that, the British corporation may negotiate selling its share with other candidates. However, the agreement still would not allow any deal for next three months without approval from AAR.

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