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MOL reportedly in talks to buy Tifon retail network in Croatia

Tifon has a significant presence in Croatia, with a network of 33 petrol stations, participating with 8% of the region's total fuel retail segment.

The retailer is owned by Ivan Cermak, a former Croatian general currently awaiting trial for war crimes. Tifon could be planning to build another 25 petrol stations in Croatia, which would make it the second biggest retailer in the country, where Austrian oil firm OMV and Croatia´s INA currently dominate. A Croatian publication reported: „MOL and Tifon are expected to agree on details of the sale later this week or early next week. The deal should then be completed within a month.” Erste Bank oil and gas analyst Tamás Pletser said that €150 million for the transaction seems expensive. The analyst also commented that Croatia is a historically difficult market to gain permissions to open new petrol stations. A business publication reported another dealer as speculating that the deal to acquire Tifon would only benefit MOL if the company could increase its 25% stake in INA to a controlling interest. INA has over 400 petrol stations in Croatia. (