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Rosneft Pauses TNK-BP Bid While Billionaires Negotiate With BP

OAO Rosneft, Russia’s biggest crude producer, is “taking a pause” on its potential interest in buying BP Plc’s stake in oil venture TNK-BP while the U.K. company is in talks with its billionaire partners.

“There are restrictions, the shareholders’ agreement, which doesn’t allow third parties to stick their noses in,” Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin told reporters today in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East.

BP said June 1 that it will pursue a possible sale of its half of TNK-BP. AAR, which represents the interests of BP’s billionaire partners in the venture, and Rosneft have said they’re interested in buying shares. AAR is bidding to buy a 25 percent stake from BP at “market price,” while saying it is also willing to swap its half of TNK-BP for BP shares. The billionaires have 135 days from BP’s announcement to negotiate a deal.

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