INA stake could be sold for promise of investment

Deals

If MOL parts with its stake in Croatia-based peer INA, the Croatian government could sell some of its own shares in INA to give the buyer a controlling stake, Croatian daily Jutarnji List reported today. Zagreb would only part with its INA shares if the buyer of MOL’s stake promised to make big investments at the company, the ‘paper said, citing a source close to the government.

Hungarian business weekly Figyelő said in its latest issue that Hungary’s Russian partners at talks in Moscow a week earlier expressed interest in MOL’s stake in INA. The topic of the INA stake was brought up by the Hungarians, not the Russians, according to anonymous sources in the Figyelő piece.

Jutarnji List cited Russia’s Rosneft as a potential buyer of MOL’s INA stake.

MOL holds just a fraction less than a controlling stake in INA, while the Croatian government owns almost 45%. The two shareholders have long been at odds over the way the company is managed, and tensions rose early in October, after Croatian police issued an arrest warrant for MOL chairman Zsolt Hernádi. Hernádi is suspected of having bribed former prime minister Ivo Sanader to give MOL management rights in INA.

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