BP Could Return Some Proceeds from TNK-BP Stake Sale to Shareholders

LONDON - BP PLC could return some of the proceeds from the sale of its stake in TNK-BP Holding to shareholders if such a divestment takes places, a company spokesman said Sunday.

The comment comes after the U.K. oil giant signaled Friday it was considering selling the 50% stake it owns in Russia's third-largest oil producer.

"Were we to sell, the board will have certain options to do with the money," the BP spokesman said. "There are a number of options, including redistributing to shareholders, reducing debt and reinvesting for the future."

"It could be any one of them, or three or two of them," he said, adding the sale "may not happen."

BP's stake in TNK-BP is worth between $25 billion and $35 billion, according to analysts.

London's Telegraph newspaper reported Sunday that BP had told leading shareholders that they could be in line for a $15 billion windfall if the sale were to take place.

BP said Friday it was considering exiting the venture after receiving unsolicited offers for its 50% stake.

The possible divestment comes after renewed tensions between BP and its Russian partners in the venture after TNK-BP's chief executive, Mikhail Fridman, resigned last week.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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