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Sibir Energy Hasn’t Been Approached by TNK-BP

By Stephen Bierman

April 14 (Bloomberg) — Sibir Energy Plc, the London-listed explorer that’s suing one of its biggest shareholders, denied press reports that it has received a takeover approach from BP Plc’s Russian venture.

“The Board confirms that it has not received any approach or any offer from TNK-BP,” Sibir said in a statement today.

This week’s Sunday Times reported that TNK-BP, Russia’s third-largest crude producer, was preparing a 2.3 billion pound ($3.4 billion) bid for Sibir Energy.

German Khan, TNK-BP’s executive director, approached investors to check whether they would accept an offer of 6 pounds a share, the newspaper said. Khan held talks with OAO Sberbank and “several U.K. institutions,” according to the report. TNK-BP is a 50-50 venture between BP and a group of billionaires.

“It seems like a more natural buyer would be Royal Dutch Shell or Gazprom Neft because they already have partnerships,” Chirvani Abdoullaev, senior oil analyst at Alfa Bank in Moscow, said by telephone today.

Sibir Energy closed at 174.75 pence on Feb. 18, the day before the shares were suspended. Last week, the oil producer said it was suing Chalva Tchigirinski and former Chief Executive Officer Henry Cameron. It started an internal investigation after claiming Tchigirinski’s interests owed the company $325 million. The claims will probably reach about $400 million, Sibir said.

The lawsuit “underlines our determination to recover on behalf of our shareholders the funds that were taken from the company,” acting CEO Stuard Detmer said in a statement at the time.

Sibir Energy runs the Moscow Refinery with OAO Gazprom Neft and has an oil-production venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Siberia.

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Last Updated: April 14, 2009 11:08 EDT and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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