* BP to have two seats on Rosneft board
* BP to raise stake in Rosneft
* Dudley would be on board with ex-East German secret agent
turned investment banker
By Vladimir Soldatkin
MOSCOW, March 1 Russia has offered BP CEO
Bob Dudley a seat on the board of directors of state-controlled
oil company Rosneft, in which BP is soon to raise its
stake, a decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev showed
State-owned Rosneft is buying TNK-BP for $55
billion from its 50-50 owners, BP and the private consortium
AAR, in two separate deals.
BP will reinvest some of the cash proceeds of the deal to
buy Rosneft shares from the Russian state, coming out with a
stake of nearly 20 percent.
According to the terms of the agreement with Rosneft, BP
would get two seats on the state-owned company's board once the
deal is closed, as expected, in the first half of this year.
Igor Sechin, the head of Rosneft and long-standing ally of
Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in January he would
welcome Dudley on the company's board.
For Dudley, it would mark his return to the Russian
corporate world after he left the country in 2008 amid a
corporate dispute with AAR at TNK-BP, which he once headed.
Dudley, who has been steering BP though its most dramatic
period marred by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, will join
the board of the Kremlin-controlled company, which is set to
become the world's largest-listed crude producer after the
As a Rosneft board member, the U.S.-born Dudley will have to
work closely with Matthias Warnig, a former East German secret
agent turned investment banker who has known Russian President
Vladimir Putin since the 1990s.
Warnig was offered the option of retaining his non-executive
seat on Rosneft's board, according to the decree that was
published on the government web site.
Dudley and Sechin are already working together on an ad hoc
committee that oversees Rosneft's takeover of TNK-BP, Russia's
third-largest oil producer.
Both have been familiar with each other since Dudley's days
in TNK-BP and have been closely cooperating after BP missed out
on a deal with Rosneft to venture into the Russian Arctic, as a
result of its feud with the AAR tycoons in 2011.
Back then, Sechin was Rosneft's chairman and oversaw the
Russian energy sector in the government as deputy prime
The Russian Prime Minister also nominated John Mack, former
CEO and former chairman board of Morgan Stanley, currently a
senior adviser at KKR & Co. L.P. (KKR), to join Rosneft's board.