May 29th, 2012

Mikhail Fridman resigns as chief of TNK-BP

Bloomberg Businessweek reports:

Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman on Monday unexpectedly announced his resignation as chief executive of TNK-BP, a sign of rising tensions between shareholders at the Russian venture of British company BP. TNK-BP has been plagued by shareholder conflicts since it was formed in 2003, and Fridman’s appointment as the chief executive three years ago looked like a sign of reconciliation between two rival groups of shareholders. But those tensions seemed to [have] resurface[d].

Mikhail Fridman

BP was hoping to sign a multi-hundred-billion-dollar deal with state-owned firm Rosneft to drill oil from the Artic, but the deal broke down after AAR blocked it, “claiming,” as Bloomberg reports, that “BP should be pursuing such deals through TNK-BP.” ExxonMobil closed an Artic drilling deal with Rosneft earlier this spring. (See CREF’s statement on that deal.)

The Associated Press reported that Fridman resigned because the equilibrium between BP and AAR’s investors has been lost and can no longer be maintained. TNK-BP’s board hasn’t met since last year and hasn’t been able to replace two directors who quit in December. Without a quorum, the board canceled to distribute dividends to shareholders. Read more on TNK-BP here.

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