Croatia, Continuation of talks on INA buyout

, SEE Energy News

Croatian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Coric met with CEO of Hungarian oil and gas company Joszef Molnar in Zagreb.

The two officials discussed the realization of the biorefinery project in Sisak, the modernization of oil refinery in Rijeka and the recent acquisition of OMV Slovenia. Namely, Croatian INA will be the main supplier for the Slovenian fuel market, which is a guarantee for long-term stability of INA’s operations.

They have also discussed the possible buyout of MOL’s share in INA. Croatian side said on several occasions that the negotiation will be completed by the summer, however, they are still ongoing. Earlier in 2021, Molnar said that the views of the two sides on the price of that stake are quite far apart, adding that MOL was never against the agreement, but that it wants to sell its stake in INA at a price that would properly compensate it for its investments in the Croatian company.

Lazard presented its report on the assessment of INA’s value to the Government in September last year .

In late 2016, Prime Minister Andrej 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 financing 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. However, the HEP option seems to be scrapped in the meantime.

MOL is the single largest shareholder in INA with 49.1 % of shares, while the Croatian Government holds 44.8 %. The remaining 6.1 % is held by private and institutional shareholders.