Hurry, special offer for Sibir investors | FT Alphaville

Hurry, special offer for Sibir investors

It’s BP-TNK and they are prepared to offer 430p for each share. (And no, that’s not a typo).

But don’t hang about as this once in a lifetime offer, which values the scandal- hit Russian oil explorer at a cool £1.6bn,  ends on Thursday.

From a stock exchange announcement released on Wednesday afternoon:

Credit Suisse International has launched a fixed price reverse accelerated  bookbuild to purchase shares in Sibir Energy plc at GBp 430 on behalf of  TNK-BP.

TNK-BP is seeking to acquire a significant minority stake and has not reached  any agreement to acquire shares from the controlling shareholders.

Sibir Energy plc is listed on AIM (Ticker: SBE LN). The shares are currently  suspended and Credit Suisse International make no representation as to the  accuracy or completeness of public information regarding Sibir Energy plc.

RESTRICTIONS:
* Member firms of the London Stock Exchange are prohibited from trading the  shares while suspended   * Reg. S Outside the US   * No offer to the US, Canada, Australia and Japan

INDICATIVE
TIMETABLE
Books open: Immediately
Books close/pricing: Thursday, 23rd April     

For further information please contact:
Matthew Duggan, Credit Suisse        +44 20 7888 0173.

And here’s a list of Sibir’s biggest shareholders.

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The background here is that shares in Sibir were suspended at 174.75p in February after the company discovered Russian businessman Shalva Chigirinsky (who is the co-owner of Benefield)  had “borrowed” $325m from its bank account.

Sibir then launched a high court action against Chigirinsky and another director to recover the cash, and rather curiously issued this statement last week:

The Board of Sibir notes press articles reporting that the Russian joint venture oil company, TNKBP, is preparing an offer to acquire Sibir shares. The Board confirms that it has not received any approach or any offer from TNKBP.

Of course, what is interesting here are the motives of TNK-BP.

Presumably, TNK wants to get some sort of leverage over Sibir’s Salym oil fields in western Siberia. But there is one problem with these fields, which are world class and producing 160,000 barrels of crude a day: they are held in a 50-50 joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell.

However, Shell might welcome a local partner such as BP-TNK. After all, most  of Sibir’s current problems are to do with political risk and corporate governance issues. These could be much less of a problem with TNK on board.

Still, tempting as it might be, Sibir shareholders might want to resist selling out just yet – because the company has received another approach:

The Board of Sibir (the ‘Board’) notes the announcement of a fixed price reverse accelerated bookbuild to buy shares in Sibir by Credit Suisse International on behalf of TNK-BP at £4.30 per share. The bookbuild is a market operation which does not involve the co-operation of Sibir.
The Board confirms that no approach has been made by TNK-BP to Sibir or to its advisers.  However, Sibir has received an informal approach from another party in relation to a possible offer for Sibir. Discussions with that party are at a very preliminary stage and there can be no guarantee that an offer for Sibir will be forthcoming.

But then again…perhaps they should bite the arm off BP-TNK.

Related links:
Sibir Energy Bid – Count me Unsceptical – Long Room
Sibir sues former directors for up to $400m – FT Alphaville
Sibir goes to court… – FT Alphaville
Sibir Energy – the saga continues – FT Alphaville