Russia's Rosneft claim could split up TGK-11

MOSCOW, Feb 18 (Reuters) - An arm of Rosneft ROSN.MM, Russia's largest oil firm, has filed a legal claim against power producer TGK-11 TGKK.RTS, threatening to split the company, TGK-11 said in a statement on Monday.

TGK-11, in which Rosneft holds a 5 percent stake, was formed in 2007 through the merger of TomskEnergo and the Omsk Electricity Generation Co, two local utilities serving the Omsk and Tomsk regions of Siberia.

The claim was filed by Rosneft subsidiary Neft Aktiv in the Moscow arbitration court, and questions the legality of the shareholders’ meeting at which this merger was approved.

TGK-11 spokeswoman Oktyabrina Yermakova said the meeting was organised in full compliance with the law. “All the records show this clearly,” she said.

But if the meeting is deemed illegal, TGK-11 could be forced to split off TomskEnergo, which makes up 26 percent of its share capital and about one-third of both its heat and electricity production.

The claim “could have a significant impact on the financial condition or working operations of the company and its subsidiaries,” TGK-11 said in the statement.

Rosneft spokesmen said they could not immediately comment, and Neft Aktiv could not be reached.

Neft Aktiv represented Rosneft at last year’s auctions of former Yukos assets, which it bought at bargain prices to make Rosneft the country’s largest oil producer.

Yukos, which once held that title, was pushed into bankruptcy after the government raised huge back-tax claims against it, an onslaught widely seen to have political motives.

Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky is now serving an eight-year term in a Siberian prison on charges of tax evasion.

Some of the choicest assets Rosneft picked up during the auctions are located in Tomsk, including half of oil production unit TomskNeft, which produces 240,000 barrels per day. (Reporting by Simon Shuster and Olga Popova; Editing by Paul Bolding)