BP announced today that it has received unsolicited indications of interest regarding the potential acquisition of its shareholding in TNK-BP.
In light of these unsolicited approaches and consistent with its commitment to maximising shareholder value, and its obligations under the Shareholder Agreement, BP has notified Alfa Access Renova of its intention to pursue a potential sale.
There can be no guarantee that any transaction will take place.
A further announcement will be made when and if appropriate.
Earlier in the week, Mikhail Fridman, also a co-owner of the Russian joint venture with Britain’s BP as part of the AAR consortium, quit as chief executive on Monday, deepening a leadership crisis that has deprived the company of a functioning board, Reuters reported.
The Kommersant business daily in an interview that TNK-BP’s current shareholder structure “no longer serves the interests of each party”, adding that only one – either BP or AAR – should control the company, Russia’s third largest crude producer.
“There are a lot of different options. For example, BP becomes a minority shareholder and gradually leaves TNK-BP’s capital … We would also consider cutting our stake if part of it is to be converted into BP shares,” Fridman said.
He added that this process could take between five and seven years.
That said, third parties to the joint venture would be welcome if they presented the right offer.
“Everything is possible and realistic. We are open to proposals,” Fridman said. “There are no concrete offers, but it (TNK-BP) may be interesting to many.”
Fridman declined to comment to Kommersant what he considers to be fair value for TNK-BP, which is worth $38.4 billion based on the current market price of its main listed unit, TNK-BP Holding.
But in a note dated 29 May, Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch assigned a value of $50 billion to TNK-BP International, a holding company that controls TNK-BP Holding and further assets including Slavneft and some Ukrainian assets.
“AAR might ask for a valuation of (between $55 billion to $60 billion) on TNK-BP Holding alone, taking the transaction (to buy out AAR) to $30-$35 billion,” analysts led by Karen Kostanian wrote in the note.