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No discussion of shares vs cash for AAR's TNK-BP deal

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian oil giant Rosneft has not suggested that the tycoons selling out of smaller rival TNK-BP receive payment in stock rather than cash, a source familiar with the matter said.

The source was responding to a report the Financial Times which quoted First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov saying it would be better if the Russian owners of TNK-BP were paid partly in Rosneft shares, and not just $28 billion in cash.

Rosneft is buying TNK-BP from British oil company BP and Russia's AAR consortium of tycoons in a $55 billion deal.

It is paying $27 billion in cash and stock for BP's stake and has signed a memorandum of understanding to buy out the AAR consortium for $28 billion in cash in a separate transaction.

"The problem is whether they (the AAR tycoons) will have the ability to invest immediately," the Financial Times quoted Shuvalov as saying in an interview published on Friday.

"Of course we would welcome it if they will invest in Russian projects and if they will decide this, otherwise no restrictions will be imposed."

The source familiar with the situation said this had never been discussed or suggested by either side.

A source close to Rosneft said the company would need to study the agreement with AAR to see if paying shares would be a possibility.

AAR, which represents Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, Len Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg, declined to comment.

Rosneft declined comment. (Reporting By Megan Davies and Vladimir Soldatkin. Editing by Tim Heritage and Jane Merriman)

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