The board of TNK-BP Holding , half owned by BP, on Monday voted against an initiative to join a minority shareholder in a lawsuit against the British oil major, a spokesman for BP in Moscow told Reuters.
The board of directors voted against joining the lawsuit at its meeting, Vladimir Buyanov said, confirming a report by a source close to TNK-BP Holding.
A spokesman for TNK-BP declined to comment.
BP and the quartet of billionaires -- representatives of the Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) consortium who own the other half of Russia's third-largest oil producer -- clashed over BP's attempt to secure an exploration and share-swap deal with state-controlled Rosneft .
A minority shareholder in the listed subsidiary of 50-50 joint venture TNK-BP Ltd, TNK-BP Holding, is seeking total damages of over $13 billion in a Russian court from BP and two nominees on the board of TNK-BP Holding, Peter Charow and Richard Sloan.
The shareholder, Andrey Prokhorov, needed more support from other TNK-BP shareholders to validate his claims in the lawsuit against the directors. According to Russian law, a plaintiff must have at least a 1 percent stake in a company to be able to file a lawsuit against directors.
Prokhorov has less than the required amount of shares in TNK-BP, and a BP lawyer has told Reuters that the court will have to waive his claims to the directors during its hearings on Nov. 10 in a regional court of Tuymen where TNK-BP is registered. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Melissa Akin and Erica Billingham)