Streetwise Professor

July 23, 2011

You Can Just Feel the Love

Filed under: Economics,Energy,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:52 am

The respite from TNK-BP-Rosneft-related news was broken the other day, with news that the AAR consortium is restarting legal action.  The Gang of Four is demanding $10 billion to compensate for business opportunities allegedly lost as a result of the abortive BP-Rosneft tie-up.  The theory as to how these opportunities are lost and gone forever now that the deal is, well, aborted, is rather difficult to discern from news accounts.

Moreover, minority shareholders of TNK-BP Holdings are suing TNK-BP Holdings, TNK-BP Management and BP Exploration Operations Company, and two BP employees who serve on the Holdings board for preventing TNK-BP from participating in the BP-Rosneft tie up.

AAR denies being a party to the suit, but acknowledges that it had been informed about it, and that the issues raised in the lawsuit are the same as those in the Gang of Four’s actions in the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal.

Perhaps this is a coincidence, but the private lawsuit is being filed in the same court in Tyumen where a straw plaintiff (a shadowy off-shore investment fund called Fairmex) sued Telenor over Vimpelcom.  The beneficiary of this lawsuit was Alfa Group–the first A in AAR.  Ultimately Telenor capitulated and came to terms with Alfa.

So maybe it isn’t a coincidence: an ostensibly independent group of minority shareholders files a suit in the Tyumen court that benefits AAR.  Telenor’s torturous experience in Siberia shows that the court can exert substantial pressure, enough to compel a capitulation.

In other words, we are seeing a legal pincer movement.  Or perhaps more accurately, extortion by law.  It seems pretty clear that AAR is attempting to compel BP into buying their half of TNK-BP at a very high price.

As I’ve said before, there is a wicked irony here.  BP is being tormented legally for its strategy that relied upon its belief that Russian lawlessness would allow it to flout the TNK-BP shareholder agreement–as long as it had the protection of Igor Sechin.  I still do not understand exactly why BP’s bet failed: whether they got played, or murky backroom politics in the lead-up to the Russian presidential election undercut Sechin, or something else.  But it is crystal clear that its bet failed spectacularly, and now it will pay.  And pay dearly.

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  1. And it will DESERVE to pay dearly, as will all its shareholders, as does EVERY company that invests in Putin’s Russia and in so doing gives aid and comfort to the rise of the neo-Soviet state.

    Putin may have killed Magnitsky (and Politkovskaya, and Starovoitova, and Estemirova, and on and on) but these foreign investors helped him pay for the bullets and the poison.

    May they all rot.

    Comment by La Russophobe — July 23, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  2. You should be happy SWP, BP was Obama’s no. 1 corporate contributor in the United Corporatist States of America. But corporatism only exists in Russia.

    Comment by Mr. X — July 23, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  3. You also feel the love between mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik and Vladimir Putin.

    Comment by La Russophobe — July 24, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  4. Mr. X, nobody except the weird voices you hear inside your own warped head says that only Russia has corporatism. What they say is that corporatism has run amok in Russia and dominates the political process, and has been able to do so because legitimate elections have been totally abolished. Moreover, they say Russia, whose citizens don’t rank in the top 130 nations of the world for life expectancy, can ill afford this type of pandemic corruption.

    And you have absolutely no evidence to show that what they say is wrong.

    Comment by La Russophobe — July 24, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  5. Crazy Ekaterina Fitzpatrickeva, you are not worth arguing with. As I mentioned your function of Google bombing people and spamming blogs with hatred of Russia will soon be replaced by Pentagon contractor spwaned bots’. At least I don’t have to worry about being made obscolescent. Especially living in Manhattan, the bucks are going to run out for actual human propaganda spinners sooner rather than later. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia, no?

    Comment by Mr. X — July 24, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  6. Soros will not be happy with this huh uh not one bit happy. This may draw another threat to suspend campaign funding.

    Twelve Democratic senators have joined 45 Republicans in a fast growing movement to halt progress on an Obama-backed United Nations effort that could bring international gun control into the United States and slap America’s gun owners with severe restrictions.

    In his letter, Moran wrote, “Our country’s sovereignty and the Second Amendment rights of American citizens must not be infringed upon by the United Nations,” Moran wrote in the letter. “Today, the Senate sends a powerful message to the Obama Administration: an Arms Trade Treaty that does not protect ownership of civilian firearms will fail in the Senate. Our firearm freedoms are not negotiable.”

    Comment by pahoben — July 26, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  7. I sent an article about the Moscow Administration ripping up sidewalks and replacing them with tiles and the coincedental ownership of a tile company by Sobyanin’s wife to a Russian friend. He said this is great the anti corruption campaign is working. I asked in what way. He answered that Luzhkov’s wife was focused on grand real estate developments and Sobyanin’s wife just on tiles-this is much cheaper.

    Comment by pahoben — July 28, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

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