Croatia: The analysis of INA buyout models will take few more weeks

, SEE Energy News

Croatian Prime Minister Anderj Plenkovic said that he will meet with his Hungarian colleague Viktor Orban during the European People’s Party meeting in Malta and discuss MOL’s wishes to sell the stake in Croatian oil company INA, which Croatia intends to buy.

PM Plenkovic said that the Government is thoroughly analyzing different models for the proposed buyout of MOL’s stake in INA and that process will take a few more weeks. He stressed that Hungarian-Croatian relation have been good in general, and both PMs agreed to separate INA-MOL issue from them.

In late 2016, PM Plenkovic announced the Government’s intentions to buy back the stake of Hungarian oil company MOL in Croatian oil company INA, adding that the best model for the buyout would be the initial public offering (IPO) of 25 % minus one share of state-owned power utility HEP, since Croatia will keep, with 75 % plus one share, all management rights in HEP without selling national resources.

In January, Croatian Government has established a eight-member council for negotiations with Hungarian MOL on buyout of MOL’s stake in Croatian oil company INA. The council will be chaired by the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. Other members of the council include Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, State Property Management, Energy, Justice and Labour. It will determine guidelines for negotiations with MOL, take necessary measures and suggest which decisions should be made by the Government regarding the preparation, implementation and financing of the procedure for the buyout of MOL’s stake in INA. PM Plenkovic said that the council will consider all available options and choose the best and most feasible option, taking into account the fact that such transaction should not increase Croatia’s public debt. Minister of Economy Martina Dalic said earlier that besides this model, there is also a model that envisages establishing of a stateowned holding that would consist of HEP, INA, natural gas transmission system operator Plinacro and oil pipeline operator JANAF.

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL owns 49.08 % of INA’s shares, while the Croatian state has 44.84 % stake in the company.