Oligarchs could float TNK-BP if bid for BP stake is successful

City A.M. Reporter
RUSSIAN conglomerate AAR is considering floating off part of TNK-BP if it buys out BP’s stake.

It comes after AAR, controlled by four Russian billionaires, yesterday said it was considering disposing of its 50 per cent stake in the Russian oil company.

It is understood that AAR’s notification to sell its stake is a way of keeping its options open.

The conglomerate said yesterday that it is still working on an offer for BP’s 50 per cent stake in TNK-BP, and has “no intention” of selling out if its bid for the entirety of the company is successful.

A source close to AAR said it was likely the company would float off at least part of the TNK-BP if the bid is successful, to boost liquidity in the business.

BP has until 17 October to discuss the sale of its stake exclusively with AAR. After that date, the British oil major is free to discuss a sale with other interested parties, including state-owned Rosneft.

The source added it was unlikely AAR would go head-to-head with fellow bidder Rosneft for TNK-BP, as the state-owned oil company is understood to have more financial firepower and be better connected with the Kremlin than AAR.

BP yesterday confirmed it was still looking to sell its 50 per cent stake in TNK, understood to be between $20bn to $25bn.