MOL acquires 25% of Croatian state oil and gas company


By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 18 -- The Croatian government has accepted a $505 million bid by Hungarian company MOL PLC to buy 25% of Croatian state oil company Industrija Nafte d.d. Zagreb (INA).

MOL outbid rivals OMV AG of Austria and OAO Rosneft of Russia, said Baker Botts LLP, legal adviser to the Croatian Ministry of Economy. Previously, the embattled INA reduced its refined products output as a result of its inability to buy crude oil supplies (OGJ Online, June 6, 2002).

OMV CEO Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer said the decision would not hinder his company's European growth strategy.

"In 2001, we defined a clear strategy: We aim to double our market position by 2008 through organic growth—supported by selected acquisitions. The INA acquisition would have fitted with this strategy, and we therefore submitted an offer of $420 million. It was; however, clear from the start that we could still achieve our goal without this option," Ruttenstorfer said.

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