BP Gives In To AAR on Board Roles

LONDON -- BP made a new concession to its oligarch partners in TNK-BP as it sealed an agreement aimed at settling a battle for control of the joint venture.

BP spokesman Toby Odone said Friday that under the deal German Khan and Viktor Vekselberg, two of the four billionaires that form the Alfa-Access-Renova consortium, which owns 50 percent of TNK-BP, will keep their management board roles.

When BP reached a preliminary settlement with AAR in September, BP chief executive Tony Hayward said one or both of the men, who BP sources blamed for stoking hostilities between the partners, would likely leave the positions.

"It's reasonable to expect that one or both of them will leave their positions," Hayward said at the time.

Hayward also said the appointment of the management team would be decided by the new CEO. BP-appointed CEO Robert Dudley agreed to step down as part of the peace deal.

Khan and Vekselberg's positions are being confirmed before a new CEO has been appointed, however. TNK-BP chief operating officer Tim Summers is currently acting CEO.

BP said it retained the right to nominate TNK-BP's chief executive and chief operating officer under the deal, although these positions must be approved by TNK-BP's board.