Croatia hits pause on INA buyout
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Croatia's government has decided to suspend efforts to buy out Hungarian oil and gas company MOL's stake in Croatian peer INA while it seeks the annulment of an international arbitration court decision in MOL's favor, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, according to a report by Hungarian news agency MTI.
Plenkovic said Croatia would ask Switzerland's Supreme Court to annul the decision by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in light of a ruling in October by Croatia's highest court that upheld the conviction on charges of graft of Ivo Sanader, the country's former prime minister.
Sanader was charged with accepting a bribe a decade earlier to give MOL management rights in INA.
In light of the Croatian court's ruling, Plenkovic said agreements between MOL and the state of Croatia are untenable.
In a ruling late in 2016, UNCITRAL dismissed the Croatian government's claims against MOL concerning graft and breach of contract. Plenkovic said after the decision that Croatia's government would seek to buy out MOL's stake in INA.
MOL holds 49.08% of INA's shares but exercises management rights in the company. The state of Croatia owns a 44.84% stake in the company.
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