| LONDON/MOSCOW, June 10
LONDON/MOSCOW, June 10 A vehicle to reinvest
nearly $14 billion earned by two Russian billionaires from their
stake in TNK-BP will be headed by Jonathan Muir, who as the oil
venture's finance chief managed billions in dividend flows,
three sources said.
Soviet-born tycoons Mikhail Fridman and German Khan,
together with associates from their Alfa Group consortium, want
to plough their proceeds from the sale of TNK-BP, a partnership
with BP, into international oil and telecoms.
TNK-BP's co-owners of nearly 10 years - BP, Fridman, Khan
and two other tycoons - received a total of $55 billion from
Rosneft in a deal that handed the Russian state oil
major the world's largest crude oil reserves and installed BP as
its 20 percent shareholder.
Last week Russian media reported that Khan had moved his
operational base to A1, a private-equity style entity which grew
out of Alfa's old oil and commodity trading arm, Alfa-Eco, where
Khan spent his early years in business.
"Jonathan is already over there," said one of the sources.
Another source said his immediate focus as chief executive was
on running a low-risk treasury operation.
Alfa representatives declined to comment.
It was not immediately clear whether Muir, an oil executive
in Russia for a decade and a half, would head A1 itself, or a
specialised A1 unit set up to manage the oil and telecoms
investments. He is expected to be London-based.
The Briton left TNK-BP with Khan and another of the
company's co-owners, Viktor Vekselberg, in the first wave of
executives to depart when the merger was completed in March.
TNK-BP generated $19 billion in dividends paid to BP, the
oligarchs and minorities under Muir, who before joining TNK-BP
was an executive at Sidanco, one of the oil assets pooled by BP
and its tycoon partners in 2003 to create the 50-50 partnership.
Sources familiar with the oligarchs' plans say they don't
plan to re-create TNK-BP and are likely to look for exploration
opportunities in regions such as Latin America, as well as to
reinvest some money in Russia.
Oil industry sources see the vehicle as possibly being
modeled on Vallares, a cash shell founded by financier Nat
Rothschild which later bought Turkey's Genel Energy, a producer
focused on the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan.
Former BP CEO Tony Hayward took over at Vallares after
leaving BP and now heads Genel, while John Browne, Hayward's
predecessor, is a partner in Riverstone, a private equity fund
focused on energy, where he is co-head of renewables funds.
Khan met Browne and Hayward and other potential deal
partners in London earlier this year, sources familiar with the
discussions have said.