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BP notifies partner of intention to sell TNK-BP stake

LONDON -- Oil major BP has informed its Russian partner in TNK-BP Holding that it intends to pursue the potential sale of its 50% stake in the joint venture after receiving unsolicited indications of interest.

The announcement follows the sudden resignation of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman as chief executive of TNK-BP earlier this week, a sign of deepening tensions between BP and the shareholders of its Russian partner Alfa Access Renova.

"In light of these unsolicited approaches and consistent with its commitment to maximizing shareholder value, and its obligations under the Shareholder Agreement, BP has notified Alfa Access Renova of its intention to pursue a potential sale," the company said.

The company said there is no guarantee that any transaction will take place and added that a further announcement will be made when and if appropriate.

Differences between the shareholders have prevented the company from appointing a full slate to the board after two independent directors quit amid the tensions in December. Operational performance at the company has remained strong. However, AAR, the consortium representing TNK-BP' s Russian shareholders, effectively dominates management, according to people close to TNK-BP.

BP and AAR have skirmished over governance at TNK-BP, Russia' s No. 3 crude producer, since the company was formed in 2003. TNK-BP is vertically integrated with a diversified upstream and downstream portfolio in Russia and Ukraine and international interests in Brazil, Venezuela and Vietnam.

AAR has previously said it would hold on to its TNK-BP stake, and that it wasn' t satisfied with BP' s role in the joint venture.

Dow Jones Newswires

06/01/2012

 

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