OMV plans to continue talks with MOL over a potential $20 billion takeover, the company said today.
MOL Nyrt rejected the initial approach from the Austrian group, but now OMV, which owns 20% of MOL, stated it wants to speak with the Hungarian outfit again, although warning that it would look at other courses of action if this proved unsuccessful. Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, CEO of OMV, said on behalf of the OMV Executive Board, „We have been encouraged by the response to our Declaration of Intent...The financial benefits of the offer we would be prepared to make and the strategic rationale have received a strong reception from both OMV shareholders and the shareholders of MOL... The overwhelming majority of those shareholders of MOL we have spoken to share our concern regarding the fiduciary duties of MOL’s Board of directors owed to shareholders... Therefore we are again requesting that MOL’s Board of Directors exercise their fiduciary duties to all shareholders by removing the impediments to an offer being made, allowing OMV to present a formal offer, which can be decided upon by the shareholders. Failing that, we are prepared to initiate an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) to provide an open and public forum for shareholders to discuss OMV’s proposals with the Board of MOL.” OMV’s bid is subject to a 10% voting rights cap being removed by MOL and a 40% stake by board members and friendly institutions being cancelled.
The Vienna-based company is taking legal action because Mol failed to propose abolishing a company statute that limits shareholder voting rights to 10%, Ruttenstorfer said on a conference call today. MOL shares, which make up around a third of the Budapest index, rose almost 3% after OMV started legal action in domestic courts and threatened to call a company EGM in a bid to force MOL into talks. MOL said legal proceedings initiated by Austrian counterpart OMV AG change nothing in OMV’s ongoing hostile attempt to take over MOL. (energycurrent, Bg)