TNK-BP Billionaire Fridman May Seek BP Stake, Kommersant Says

TNK-BP billionaire Mikhail Fridman said he and his partners want to swap their stake in the Russian oil venture for BP Plc shares, Kommersant reported today.

AAR, which represents Fridman and fellow billionaire investors, sought to swap the stake in TNK-BP for BP or OAO Rosneft shares last year, Kommersant said, citing an interview with Fridman. The talks led to nothing, but if a deal to swap the stakes for BP’s shares was renewed, it would take from 5 to 7 years, he said.

AAR intends to remain in the oil business, Fridman said.

Still TNK-BP may have the third partner in the future, as AAR “is open for the offers”, he told the newspaper.

Fridman resigned as TNK-BP’s chief executive officer this week because he’s a an interested party in the shareholder battle, Kommersant reported.

His resignation has nothing to do with former First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin becoming Rosneft CEO or any potential merger of TNK-BP with a state company, Fridman said.

TNK-BP is not able to borrow as its board is not functioning and AAR thinks the market situation doesn’t favor the payment of large dividends, Fridman said.

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