Croatian government formally requests MOL statement on INA stake sale
The government of Croatia on Thursday officially asked Hungary-based oil-and-gas company MOL to state clearly whether the company intends to sell its 49.1% stake in Croatia-based peer INA. And, following a query by Reuters, MOL reacted by reiterating that selling the stake was only one option that it was considering.
MOL has a policy of not commenting unfolding events beyond its official statements made earlier. MOL’s board of directors announced on November 8 that it had “authorized the executive board to conclude such an agreement with the Croatian government that can lead to value creation through the execution of INA’s growth strategy,” and at the same time “also authorized to start the preparations for the sale of MOL’s stake in INA in order to be able to maximize the value of its investment.”
The government of Croatia said in an official statement on Thursday that “Croatia believes it crucial that MOL unequivocally states if it has an unconditional intention to sell its stock in INA. We don’t deny MOL’s right to decide what it wants to do with INA stock, but its clear position is crucial for the government’s further steps.”
The MOL board authorized preparations for the sale after Croatian police in October issued an arrest warrant for MOL chairman/CEO Zsolt Hernádi on suspicion that he bribed former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader to give MOL management rights in INA.
The government of Croatia owns a 44.84% stake in INA and MOL holds about 49.1%.
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