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TNK-BP Minorities to End BP Suit as Shareholders Resolve Dispute

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Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- A group of minority shareholders in Russia’s OAO TNK-BP Holding plans to drop a 100 billion ruble ($3 billion) lawsuit against BP Plc after the U.K. oil producer resolved a dispute with its billionaire partners in the unit.

The shareholders led by Andrey Prokhorov told a Russian court they will drop the suit before a Dec. 14 hearing, Dmitry Chepurenko, a partner at the Liniya Prava law firm representing Prokhorov, said today. Chepurenko wouldn’t specify the reason.

BP has agreed to sell its half of TNK-BP, the third-largest Russian oil producer, to OAO Rosneft for $17 billion and 12.8 percent of Rosneft after years of disputes with its billionaire partners. Rosneft plans to sign a binding agreement for the purchase of the balance from AAR, the company representing the billionaires, this month.

BP is aware of the request to end the suit, Konstantin Lukoyanov, a lawyer for the company, said today by phone.

A Tyumen, Russia court in July ordered BP to pay TNK-BP Holding 100.4 billion rubles in damages over a failed deal with Rosneft. Prokhorov had originally sought 409 billion rubles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at sbierman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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