July 27th, 2012

Rosneft aims to buy a stake in TNK-BP

July 24th Rosneft officially announced its interest in acquiring BP’s stake in TNK-BP. BP decided to exit the highly lucrative joint venture after several years of tensions with AAR, a consortium of Russian billionaires owning the other 50% in TNK-BP. AAR is already in talks with BP about a possible deal.

Analysts say the situation might end up as an alliance between BP and Rosneft to develop Arctic shelf. The previous cooperation attempt of two companies was blocked by AAR, which perceived the alliance as a violation of shareholder agreement between AAR and BP.

According to that agreement, BP needs AAR’s sanction to disclose any confidential information about TNK-BP to third parties and must conduct 90 days of «good faith» negotiations with AAR.

In fight with BP and Rosneft, oligarchs from AAR might look for support from Russian government. Any deal with state-owned Rosneft needs to be approved both by Russian antitrust authorities and Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.

The possible deal between BP and Rosneft will continue the trend of growing government control over Russian oil industry, started by YUKOS case. However, participants of AAR, unlike shareholders of YUKOS, are likely to receive a generous compensation for their assets.

Bloomberg

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