By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS Feb 26 Russian oil producer Rosneft
is expected to win unconditional European Union
regulatory approval for its TNK-BP takeover bid, a
source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, taking it
closer to completing the $55 billion deal.
State-owned Rosneft is buying TNK-BP from private Russian
group AAR and British oil company BP in two separate
deals, one of the biggest takeovers in the sector that will put
it ahead of current world No. 1 Exxon Mobil.
"The European Commission is expected to clear this
unconditionally as there are no competition issues and no major
overlaps," said the person, who declined to be identified
because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The European Commission's spokesman for competition policy,
Antoine Colombani, said the investigation into the takeover was
ongoing. The EU competition authority has set a March 8 deadline
for its decision. Rosneft's own timetable foresees a March 7
BP declined to comment on the timing of any regulatory
approval. "The sale is subject to regulatory approval. We expect
to complete in the first half of the year," a BP spokesman said.