Russian tycoons dismiss TNK-BP buyout

20th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Russian half of BP's local joint venture has no plans to sell its stake so that the British giant can forge an alliance with state-controlled Rosneft, one of the tycoons said on Wednesday.

"We do not want to sell. We do not want to leave. We are defending the interests of TNK-BP, and we want to work in TNK-BP," said the venture's part owner Viktor Vekselberg.

"AAR is working to defend its rights as a shareholder of TNK-BP," he added in reference to the Russian half of the local BP joint venture.

The Russian billionaires who own half of TNK-BP have used the courts to halt BP's $16-billion (11.1-billion-euro) share swap and Arctic exploration agreement with Rosneft, Russia's biggest oil company.

Rosneft last week agreed to extend until May 16 the deadline by which the deal could be agreed, with one of the discussed options involving a buyout by either BP or Rosneft of the Russian partners.

Western and Russian press reports said that BP was willing to offer AAR $27 billion for the group's stake in TNK-BP, which is one of the world's top 10 private oil producers.

But the billionaires refused, valuing the company at more than $70 billion.

Moscow's Finans magazine this week valued TNK-BP at $54.1 billion.

Vekselberg stressed that the Russian tycoons were not currently conducting buyout negotiations with Rosneft

© 2011 AFP

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