TNK cites possible delay on Sidanco-Chernogorneft negotiations

Russia's Tyumen Oil Co. said Monday it still plans to proceed with the exchange of Chernogorneft's assets for a 25% plus one share stake in Sidanco as agreed in December 1999. A squabble may delay the deal, however.

Russia's Tyumen Oil Co. (TNK) announced a proposal that it said that would allow it to complete the exchange of Russian oil company Chernogorneft's assets for a 25% plus one share stake in Sidanco, as agreed in December 1999 (OGJ, Feb. 28, 2000, p. 28). An intercompany squabble may delay the deal closing further, however.

TNK said the proposal, based on the previously agreed structure, would allow it to close the deal in a few weeks. TNK acquired Chernogorneft through a bankruptcy auction for $176 million in November 1999. A BP complaint prompted the Chernogorneft-Sidanco deal, however.

The parties involved in the Sidanco/Chernogorneft transaction, which includes TNK shareholders, BP, Kantupan Holdings, and Interros, a Russian holding company, initially agreed that TNK would receive its equity in Sidanco in the form of newly issued shares. All parties agreed that the transfer of existing Sidanco shares by principal Sidanco shareholders was the best way to close the deal, said TNK.

But, TNK alleges, Interros has pledged virtually all of its Sidanco shares in the course of its debt restructuring negotiations and, therefore, did not have the shares necessary to close the transaction.

Despite repeated requests from the other parties, TNK claimed, Interros has failed to provide any meaningful information or any documents about the pledge of Sidanco shares necessary to work out acceptable arrangements with the creditors.

More in Companies