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Russian Tycoon Fridman In Legal Threat Over North Sea Fields

Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman has reportedly threatened legal action against the British government over its plans to block his bid to buy 12 oil and gas fields in the North Sea.

Fridman’s LetterOne fund is acquiring German company RWE Dea, the owner of the North Sea assets, in a 5-billion-euro ($5.6 billion) deal that was due to be completed on March 2.

As part of the deal, LetterOne is creating a subsidiary, L1 Energy, to be chaired by former BP chief John Browne.

But Britain's Department of Energy said on February 28 it opposed the acquisition "in its current form," citing concerns over the effect on British oil and gas production of “possible future sanctions" on LetterOne over the crisis in Ukraine.

The Financial Times quoted LetterOne on March 1 as saying L1 Energy “reserves all its rights” regarding the Department of Energy decision on the issue “including, if a decision is issued, to challenge it as being unlawful.”

Based on reporting by FT, the BBC, and Reuters

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