Linklaters, Cleary and Skadden take top roles on multibillion-dollar BP-Rosneft deal

Linklaters, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have secured lead roles on the multibillion-dollar sale of Russian oil joint venture TNK-BP to Rosneft.

The deal, which is thought to be the second-largest oil transaction in history, will see BP – which owns TNK-BP in partnership with Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR), a consortium of Russian oligarchs – receive a $17.1bn (£10.7bn) cash payment from Rosneft, as well as a 12.84% share in the state-backed company.

BP will use $4.8bn (£3bn) of the cash payment to purchase a further 5.66% stake from the Russian government.

In addition, AAR is also set to sell its 50% stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for $28bn (£17.5bn), with Rosneft now reportedly set to become the world’s largest publically traded energy company.

Long-time BP adviser Linklaters is representing the oil giant, with Cleary acting for Rosneft, and Skadden advising AAR.

Corporate partners Stephen Griffin and Jeremy Parr, and commercial litigation partner Michael Bennett, are leading the Linklaters team, with support from BP M&A lawyer Jens Bertlesen.

Cleary’s team includes corporate partners Russell Pollack and Daniel Braverman in Paris and London respectively, along with Brussels antitrust partner Antoine Winckler and Moscow partner Murat Akuyev, who led a team advising on Russian law.

BP announced in June that it was looking to dispose of its share in TNK-BP, following a turbulent partnership with AAR.

In March last year, Skadden London litigation partner David Kavanagh secured an arbitration victory for the shareholder group in a dispute with BP over a proposed $16bn (£10bn) strategic alliance with Rosneft.

The tribunal sided with AAR’s argument that TNK-BP shareholders had an agreement that prohibited BP from entering into the arrangement with Rosneft, which could have resulted in an equity-linked partnership to pursue joint projects in the Russian Arctic shelf.