MOSCOW, July 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Following BP's notice of June 1, 2012 that it intended to dispose of some or all of its shares in TNK-BP, AAR formally notified BP on Wednesday , July 18, that it wishes to enter into negotiations to increase its shareholding in the Company.
Under the terms of the TNK-BP Shareholder Agreement, AAR and BP now have 90 days during which to negotiate in good faith. AAR has already stated publicly that it would be willing to buy one-half of BP's stake in TNK-BP - or a 25 percent stake - at current market price. AAR made a proposal to this effect in May, prior to BP's public announcement of receipt of "indications of interest."
During the 90-day “good faith” negotiations period, BP may negotiate with other parties but it is precluded from finalising a deal with any of them.
AAR notes that BP has not asked for AAR's approval to provide confidential data on TNK-BP to any other prospective buyer in the seven weeks since BP announced that it received indications of interest from potential buyers. AAR's approval is necessary before such information may be released by BP.
Stan Polovets, CEO of AAR, said: “AAR and BP both realize that a fundamental realignment in the ownership of TNK-BP is necessary in order to allow each of the shareholders to achieve its strategic objectives and eliminate the internal contradictions that are preventing further development of TNK-BP. We hope that BP will now engage with us constructively, particularly given the importance of TNK-BP to BP's overall position.”
TNK-BP contributed over 90 percent of BP's dividends last year (i.e.: 3.7 billion U.S. dollars out of 4.1 billion U.S. dollars). TNK-BP production performance is substantially better than BPs: in the first quarter of 2012, TNK-BP production volume grew 4 percent whilst production volume of BP's other assets declined by 6 percent.
A sale by BP of all or any part of its interest in TNK-BP will not affect BP's potential liability to AAR and TNK-BP for breach of the Shareholders' Agreement in connection with BP's attempted strategic alliance with Rosneft that involved a share swap, an Arctic exploration JV, and a number of potential upstream and downstream ventures, the consortium said in a statement.