Hungarian oil and gas company Mol Rt said it exercised its option on May 8 to buy Mol shares from the State Privatization and Holding Rt (ÁPV).
Mol bought 10,898,525 treasury shares, or a 10% stake, at the average stock exchange price in the 90 trading days preceding May 8. Mol had an option to buy a maximum 10% of the 11.7% state-held stake between May 1 and October 27 this year under an option contract signed on December 1, 2005. Under the December contract, the option was to be exercised either at the weighted average stock exchange price during the 90 days preceding the signing of the contract (Ft 21,150 per share) or the weighted average share price in the 90 days preceding the calling of the option, whichever was higher.
Originally, the contract gave Mol the option to purchase a stake of up to 3% between December 10 and December 30, 2006, and the rest between May 1 and October 27, 2006. However, Mol did not exercise the option in December and has sold practically all treasury stock it held since. Mol is prohibited by the Capital Market's Act from holding more than 10% of its registered capital as treasury shares.
The contract also stipulates that Mol must seek government approval, until the end of 2015, before selling the stake to any strategic investor. This clause is intended to secure the company's independence and preserve its national character, the December announcement said. The state said earlier it would sell its remaining 1.7% stake in Mol to Hungarian retail investors at a later date after the option was called.