TNK-BP resignation reveals further rifts

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TNK-BP resignation reveals further rifts

TNK-BP resignation reveals further rifts
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Mikhail Fridman, the head of TNK-BP, Russia’s third largest oil company, has stepped down saying it was for “personal reasons”.

Fridman’s resignation is a further sign of a breakdown in the relationship between British oil firm BP and their Russian partners, a group of billionaires known as the Alfa-Access-Renova, or AAR consortium.

A source at AAR has told Reuters they have lost trust in BP.

BP said Fridman had given no advance notice of his resignation.

Governance at TNK-BP has been on the brink of collapse since the acrimonious resignation of two independent directors, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and mining industry veteran, James Leng at the end of 2011. Only one has been replaced.

Last week the board postponed a dividend payout in a sign of a broadening rift between BP and AAR.

TNK-BP is still looking to replace an independent board director and was unable to decide on the dividend because the board does not have a quorum, the company said.

“This represents a further breakdown in the relationship between TNK-BP’s shareholders,” a source close to AAR said on Monday.

Two other members of AAR, Viktor Vekselberg and German Khan, retain formal executive posts at the company, which will be run by executives holding powers of attorney in their areas of expertise after Fridman’s resignation comes into effect in a month’s time, TNK-BP said.

BP said the resignation would have no effect on the company, which would be run by the management board.