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TNK-BP offers to buy Sibir Energy oil firm for $3.38bln - paper


MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian-British oil venture TNK-BP is interested in buying oil producer Sibir Energy for 2.3 billion British pounds ($3.38 billion), a business paper reported on Monday.

According to Kommersant, Sibir Energy, with a market value estimated at just 675.5 million British pounds ($992 million), controls half of the Moscow Oil Refinery. However, the deal could be obstructed by the Moscow government's unwillingness to lose control of the Moscow fuel market.

TNK-BP launched negotiations with Sibir Energy shareholders in early March, considering the possibility of buying their stakes, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday, saying that the deal would represent a premium almost three times the company's market price.

The Moscow authorities, which also have a stake in Sibir, are aware of TNK-BP's plans to buy 100% of the company's stock but do not intend to accept the offer, Vladimir Silkin, head of the Moscow government property department, told Kommersant.

"We have held consultations with another shareholder, Igor Kesayev, and decided that our strategic task is to keep our shareholdings," Kommersant quoted Silkin as saying.

TNK-BP declined to comment on the potential deal while Kommersant's source close to the company said that the negotiations with Sibir Energy shareholders had indeed taken place.

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