Report: Croatian government taking MOL to court

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The Croatian government will turn to an international arbitration court on the matter of a dispute with Hungarian oil and gas company MOL over the management of Croatian peer INA by the end of January, daily Večernji List reported today.

According to Večernji List, the Croatian government holds that MOL chairman/CEO Zsolt Hernádi obtained strategic control of INA by corrupt means, that MOL failed to make promised investments at INA refineries, and that MOL broke Croatian company law.

Both MOL and INA declined to comment on the matter when asked by the ‘paper.

MOL representatives said in November that the company had filed a request for arbitration with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) concerning the wrangling with the Croatian government over INA.

MOL said it filed the request “in order to commence arbitration proceedings against the government of Croatia for breaching certain of its obligations and undertakings in relation to MOL’s investments in Croatia.”

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 company management issues; tensions rose early in October, after Croatian police issued an arrest warrant for Hernádi. Hernádi is suspected of having bribed former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader, who was convicted in 2012, to land MOL management rights in INA.

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