TNK strikes deal for Sidanko
As The Moscow Times informs, BP, Alfa Group and Interros announced Thursday that they have struck an agreement that will once and for all close the book on a takeover dispute that has captivated investors around the world. According to the agreement, Interros will sell its 44 percent stake in oil company Sidanco to New Petroleum for dollars 640 million, and the Tyumen Oil Co. will return oil producer Chernogorneft to Sidanco, company officials said. New Petroleum is a recently formed holding that owns TNK. Its shareholders are Alfa Group, Access and Renova. The deal values Sidanco at dollars 1.5 billion, a far cry from the dollars 5 billion it was valued at in 1997 when BP bought a 10 percent stake for dollars 571 million. The agreement effectively gives Alfa Group 84 percent of Sidanco, while BP keeps the 10 percent stake it already owns. The other 6 percent floats among various portfolio investors. Mikhail Fridman, Alfa Group`s board chairman, beamed while accepting vigorous congratulatory handshakes just before the announcement of the deal. Vladimir Potanin, the one-time Kremlin insider who controls the Interros holding, was noticeably absent. Interros` remaining assets include Norilsk Nickel and Rosbank. Fridman and TNK were catapulted into the international spotlight in November 1999 when they bought Chernogorneft - which, at the time, was a Sidanco subsidiary located near TNK`s operations on the Samotlor oil field - for dollars 176 million at a much-criticized bankruptcy auction. Chernogorneft accounted for much of Sidanco`s crude output. BP shrieked foul, and the dispute made international headlines. A month later, in December, TNK agreed to give Chernogorneft back in exchange for a blocking stake in Sidanco. But Alfa Group repeatedly missed deadlines to close the deal, and Interros went to the courts. BP moved into the background and held to one line: We would like to see this conflict resolved. BP spokesman Peter Henshaw welcomed the agreement Thursday, saying that holding onto the 10 percent stake had been the company`s priority. Despite the size of the stake, BP has a blocking vote on many managerial issues. Chernogorneft`s production and revenues - which have long been part of TNK`s books - are to be returned to Sidanco in a matter of weeks. BP will continue to hold its blocking vote at Sidanco under a contract that expires in three years. Without Chernogorneft, Sidanco`s growth has languished compared to that of other Russian oil companies. With Chernogorneft, which produces about 128,000 barrels a day, Sidanco was Russia`s eighth-largest company. After TNK took the subsidiary under control, Sidanco fell to 10th place. Sidanco president Robert Sheppard said Thursday that once Chernogorneft is back, Sidanco`s production will grow to 330,000 barrels a day. TNK, with its 84 percent stake in Sidanco, will bypass Surgutneftegaz to become Russia`s third-largest oil company in terms of production. While Fridman said it was too early to discuss the possible merger of TNK and Sidanco, the virtual buyout of the company as agreed upon Thursday was a move predicted by industry players since the Chernogorneft`s bankruptcy auction in 1999.
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|Autor (Datum des Eintrages):||Bayern3 (03.08.01 08:38:22)|
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