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OMV prefers “friendly combination”

Austrian oil company OMV aims to establish amicable business relations with Hungarian peer MOL, in order to “combine” the two companies, said the Austrians’ CEO, Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer at a press discussion in Budapest.

The exec envisioned a geminated corporation, with centers in both Vienna and Budapest, so that they can withstand the adversities of global energy market consolidation. While OMV has not given up on establishing formal links with MOL, a public offer is not on the agenda, as OMV is not pressed by either time or its shareholders, Ruttenstorfer said. OMV’s persistence in the matter is dictated by the laws of a consolidating global energy environment, which necessitates mergers of the kind. If not OMV, others will also make similar attempts Ruttenstorfer added. He emphasized that the antagonistic attitude that developed towards OMV as a response to the events is based on emotional factors, rather than reason.

According to a strategic study prepared by MOL Nyrt, merging with Austrian peer OMV would actually strengthen the positions of Russian players on the CEE markets, opposed to consolidating the sector through the aggregated strength of the two companies. There are no specifics as to how OMV would restructure MOL after the conclusion of the potential fusion, the Dow Jones news agency reported citing the document. However, the arms likely to be severed include Slovakian subsidiary Slovnaft, or the refinery in Százhalombatta, (Hungary) each of which would most likely be bought by Russian competitors, LUKoil, Gazprom, or Rosneft. (Gazdasági Rádió, Magyar Hirlap)