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Croatia's INA says it has no 'privileged information' about govt plans to buy MOL's stake

Croatia's INA says it has no 'privileged information' about govt plans to buy MOL's stake Author: F. Buva. License: All rights reserved

ZAGREB (Croatia), December 29 (SeeNews) - Croatian oil and gas company INA [ZSE:INA-R-A] said on Thursday it has no information about government plans to acquire the stake held by the company's biggest shareholder other than the details made publicly available. 

"INA has no information about the potential acquisition of INA shares that could be considered privileged information", the company said in a filing to the Zagreb bourse.

Croatia's prime minister Andrej Plenkovic announced over the weekend that the government plans to regain ownership of INA by buying back the whole stake held by Hungarian energy group MOL.

If and when INA receives preferential information, the company will publish it in accordance with the capital market act, INA noted.

MOL controls a 49.08% stake in INA, the Croatian government owns 44.84%, while institutional and private investors hold a stake of 6.08%.

Although neither MOL nor the government hold a majority stake, the Hungarian company was given managerial control under a deal concluded in 2009 with former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader.

The government's decision to regain ownership of INA comes after it emerged that MOL has won an arbitration case which Croatia launched against the company before the arbitral tribunal of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

In 2014, Croatia filed for international arbitration against MOL with the aim to cancel the 2009 deal that allowed MOL to take over INA's management. Last year, Croatia ordered a retrial of Sanader who had been earlier convicted for taking a bribe from MOL to allow it to acquire a dominant stake in INA.

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington is expected to also rule on the matter of INA next year.

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