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Viktor Vekselberg, one of the four major Russian shareholders in TNK-BP,
Viktor Vekselberg, one of the four major Russian shareholders in TNK-BP, said Wednesday that the Russian-British joint venture was worth at least $60 billion.

"I have always said that the company would be worth $60 billion," he told reporters.

According to RTS quotes, TNK-BP's capitalization is now around $24 billion. However, some industry watchers say the company has been undervalued by 40-45%.

TNK-BP posted a net profit of $4.7 billion in the first six months of 2008, a 128% increase on the same period last year.

The British oil giant and the Alfa Access-Renova consortium of Russian billionaire shareholders signed last week a memorandum of understanding that should put an end to their protracted dispute over the joint oil venture's management. It includes an option to sell up to 20% of a TNK-BP subsidiary through an IPO on international financial markets.

The deal is a concession by BP to a number of its Russian partners' demands, including the removal of BP-appointed chief executive Robert Dudley, whom they accused of acting in only BP's interests, and the appointment of three independent executives.

The British oil major earlier accused the Russian shareholders of orchestrating a state harassment campaign against TNK-BP, Russia's third largest producer, and seeking to seize control of the venture.


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