Energy company MOL signs deal with Croatian government
Budapest - The Hungarian energy firm MOL and the Croatian government signed a deal on Friday over the unbundling of the gas unit of Croatian firm INA, in which MOL holds the largest stake.
In the buyout deal, Croatian state-owned Plinacro will pay 514 million Croatian kuna (89.44 million dollars) for INA's gas interests, which include the large Okoli storage facility near the capital Zagreb, MOL said in a statement.
The contracts were signed in Zagreb by Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Damir Polancec and the CEO of MOL, Zsolt Hernadi.
A new shareholder agreement effectively gives MOL control over the running of INA, although Croatia retains veto rights in certain matters that could affect the country's energy security.
The Balkan state also has the option to purchase INA shares from MOL in the event of a "non-recommended change of control" of the Hungarian company.
MOL upped its stake in INA by 22.15 per cent to just over 47.15 per cent last year in a takeover bid, and the Croatian state owns 44.85 per cent of the shares.
The Budapest Stock Exchange caused excitement among brokers on Thursday when it suspended trading in MOL shares.
"The issuer informed the bourse on January 29 that is about to make an extraordinary announcement that could greatly affect the share price, so it requested that trading be suspended," the CEO of the exchange, Gyorgy Mohai, said in a statement explaining the move.
Trading in MOL shares will resume on Monday, the exchange announced on Friday.
The MOL group is Hungary's largest publicly traded company, a stakeholder in the Nabucco gas pipeline project, and a major player in the Central European oil and gas markets. (dpa)