MOL to launch buyout offer for INA

Deals

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL on Monday said it plans to launch a public purchase offer for shares in free float of Croatian peer INA, in which it already holds a 25% stake.

“With this public offer MOL intends to clearly express its commitment to INA and at the same time limit further speculations on the market,” MOL said. MOL said talks with the Croatian government -- which holds a 44.8% stake in INA -- on the future ownership of the company are still ongoing.

Reuters reported earlier MOL is negotiating with the Croatian government on acquiring a further 14% in INA. Croatian papers wrote early in July that Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and his Croatian counterpart Ivo Sanader discussed a share swap between the two companies. MOL said it knows well the development potential of INA and is prepared to offer a “fair and realistic” price to all shareholders of the company. MOL said it also wanted to limit further speculation that had disturbed the market significantly.

Austrian business daily Wirtschaftsblatt reported early in May that Austria’s OMV -- which has made unwanted advances toward MOL since last summer -- is interested in acquiring a 14-19% stake in INA. Industry insiders say the company is willing to pay cash for the stake. (MTI-Econews)

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