MOL set for further acquisitions in North Sea, elsewhere

Deals

MOL wants to make more acquisitions in politically stable regions in the coming years, Germany-based business daily Handelsblatt reported on its website today: “We need to go to new regions that are politically stable,” MOL supervisory board chairman György Mosonyi told the paper. “This is also a lesson from the long unusable upstream activities in Syria and the uncertain regulatory environment in Croatia.”

MOL’s Croatia-based unit INA declared force majeure regarding its operations in Syria because of political unrest in the country early in 2012. MOL is also at odds with the Croatian government over the way INA should be managed.

“We have sufficient financial room for maneuver to make further acquisitions in the coming years,” Mosonyi said.

According to Handelsblatt, MOL is thought to have more than $1 billion for future acquisitions.
MOL said on Friday that it had acquired upstream assets in the North Sea from Wintershall for a base consideration of $375 million. The combined peak production of the assets is expected to reach 16,000-18,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2018.

“We have sent a signal with this first transaction. More transactions will follow, [some] in the North Sea,” Mosonyi said, echoing comments from the company’s official statement following the Wintershall deal via which “the company intends to enhance its offshore experience and achieve further growth in the region.”

As for MOL’s still-halted production in Syria, Mosonyi called resumption “completely uncertain.”
Said the chairman, “We will continue to internationalize, so as to reduce risk.”

-- David Landry contributed to this article

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