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OMV stands by MOL offer, MOL rebuffs

Austrian oil firm OMV told Reuters on Wednesday it stands firmly by its offer for Hungarian rival MOL and may later revise the price, but MOL again rebuffed the approach it believes has „definitely failed”.

OMV AG expects the takeover battle to drag on, possibly for up to three years, OMV Chief Executive Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer told the Reuters Central European Investment Summit. But the company will revisit its 32,000 forint a share offer once all obstacles to its bid are removed, he said. „Never say never,” Ruttenstorfer told Reuters when asked whether OMV would consider lifting the offer.

„(But) for the time being, that’s definitely our offer.” OMV, which holds just over 20% of MOL Nyrt, has proposed a merger which would value MOL at $20 billion. MOL again rejected the offer on Wednesday, saying a merger would destroy shareholder value, lower competition and create a regional monopoly. „It is exactly for this reason that we say that the European Union would never approve this merger,” MOL Chief Executive György Mosonyi said.

„Therefore, I very much hope that OMV shareholders have a plan B, because plan A (for a takeover) has definitely failed.” Ruttenstorfer told Reuters Summits that the proposal was not yet a formal offer as it was hindered by several obstacles. A firm offer would come only if MOL’s voting cap is lifted, the Hungarian government gives up its special voting rights and MOL’s management gives up control over around 40% of the firm’s stock. (Read more)