Exclusive: TNK-BP tycoons turn to ex-BP bosses for help in investing billions

Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:38am EDT
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By Melissa Akin, Katya Golubkova and Tom Bergin

MOSCOW/LONDON (Reuters) - Representatives of the Alfa Group, set to earn billion of dollars from the sale of Anglo-Russian oil venture TNK-BP, have sounded out former BP CEOs John Browne and Tony Hayward about investing jointly in international oil projects.

German Khan, one of four Soviet-born businessmen who shared control of TNK-BP with BP for a decade, met Browne and Hayward and other potential deal partners in London last month, sources familiar with the discussions said.

Khan, who effectively heads TNK-BP and is Mikhail Fridman's partner in the Alfa Group consortium, sought advice and broached potential partnerships, according to the sources.

State oil company Rosneft is on the verge of completing a $55 billion takeover of TNK-BP, creating the world's largest publicly listed oil firm by output, pumping the equivalent of 4.6 million barrels of oil per day.

The Alfa-Access-Renova consortium will receive a cash consideration of $28 billion for their one-half stake in TNK-BP. Alfa will get half of that and wants to reinvest much of the money in oil and gas, as well as in telecoms, the sources said.

"Life after TNK-BP is getting closer - the three groups will go their different ways. Alfa made their name in oil and gas and telecoms, and intend to continue to do so," said one source.

The other two partners in AAR, mining tycoon Viktor Vekselberg of the Renova Group and Len Blavatnik of Access Industries, are likely to bow out and focus on other ventures and charity work, sources close to TNK-BP and AAR said.

After he left BP, Hayward moved to Vallares, a cash shell founded by financier Nat Rothschild which later bought Turkey's Genel Energy, a producer focused on the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan.   Continued...

A car drives past an illuminated sign displayed in front of the local office of TNK-BP company in the Siberian city of Tyumen, January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko