Multi-billion lawsuit by minority shareholder against BP to be reconsidered
- TNK-BP shareholder appeals refusal to recover $13bln from BP
- BP initiates recovery of damages from minority shareholders
- TNK-BP shareholder increases claim against BP subsidiaries up to $12.61 bln
- Court allows BP not to disclose information on Rosneft deal
- TNK-BP minority shareholders' lawsuit should be dismissed - BP
MOSCOW, June 4 - RAPSI. The West-Siberian Federal Commercial Court dismissed all judicial acts on the case and resubmitted the lawsuit by TNK-BP Holding minority shareholder Andrei Prokhorov to recover $12.15 billion from BP Russian Investment Limited (BPRI) and BP p.l.c., the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Monday.
At the same time, the court upheld Prokhorov's appeal disputing the Tyumen Region Commercial Court decision of November 18, 2011, and the ruling of the Eighth Commercial Court of Appeals of March 12, 2012, when the court refused to uphold his claims on the recovery of his losses.
According to BP attorney Konstantin Lukoyanov, the lawsuits by BP companies were absurd and were a misuse of rights. He added that the first and appellate courts confirmed that the lawsuits were groundless.
According to Lukoyanov, BP companies believe that the further appeal of the decisions as well as the lawsuit itself have nothing to do with the interests of TNK-BP shareholders and the company itself.
He also stressed that the referral to the appellate court has no likelihood of success, as the lawsuit is groundless, and further proceedings will only lead to greater legal expenses, which may also be subject to recovery.
On August 9, 2011, the Tyumen Region Commercial Court accepted lawsuits filed by TNK-BP Holding minority shareholders to recover losses from top BP officials Peter Charow and Richard Sloan, as well as the holding's parental companies BP p.l.c. and BP Russian Investments Limited.
TNK-BP minority shareholders maintain that Charow and Sloan must have known about the talks between BP p.l.c or any other BP company and the Russian oil giant Rosneft.
The second lawsuit was filed by Prokhorov, since BP p.l.c. and BP Russian Investments Limited, as TNK-BP Limited's shareholder, managed to ensure that TNK-BP Limited's board dismissed a proposal for the TNK-BP Holding to enter into a strategic partnership and acquire Rosneft shares.
This resulted in losses for TNK-BP Holding, Prokhorov said. The claims against the board members amounted to 87.112 billion rubles ($2.58 billion), while claims of 409.284 billion rubles ($12.15 billion) were made against the parental companies.
BP, one of six oil and gas "supermajors," and Rosneft agreed to a share swap and the joint development of Russia's Arctic shelf in January 2011. However, the AAR Consortium, which represents the Russian TNK-BP shareholders, blocked the agreement. Talks came to a close in June.
Prokhorov believes that if TNK-BP had become a member of a strategic partnership between the two companies, then under the swap agreement it would have purchased about 1.01 billion common shares in Rosneft, which in turn would have increased in value and brought higher profits to TNK-BP. Therefore, he maintains that the difference between the current fair price of the shares and the price at which TNK-BP would have acquired the stake in the swap was lost profit.
In the opinion of BP Russian Investments Limited and BP p.l.c., the claims are groundless as there is no proof of any losses.