Croatia may buy INA back from MOL

Deals

The Croatian government is urging talks on a secured loan to buy back shares of oil and gas company INA from Hungarian counterpart MOL, Croatian Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak was reported as saying today.

“We may use shares held by MOL and up to 19% of our own INA stock as collateral. That way there won't be any need for state guarantees, and the transaction would not add to public debt,” the minister was quoted as saying by Bloomberg and other news agenices.

“Buying back INA shares would be the best solution for Croatia's energy strategy and developing our hydrocarbon resources. A second solution would be for the country to come to terms with MOL, while a third option would be to find a new partner in INA,” Vrdoljak added.

Earlier, Russian energy giant Gazprom expressed interest in buying MOL’s slightly more than 48% share of INA, which is greater than the Croatian state’s 45%. Should Croatia buy the shares currently held by MOL, the government would acquire almost the entire company.

The next talks on the shares will take place Friday.

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