March 14 (SeeNews) - Hungarian oil and gas company MOL has signed an agreement to sell 39 filling stations in Slovenia to Shell, in order to obtain the approval of the European Commission for the purchase of the local unit of Austria's OMV, MOL Slovenia said on Tuesday.
Completion of the sale of 39 filling stations, some of them part of the OMV Slovenia network, is subject to a takeover permit, MOL Slovenia said in a statement.
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With the transaction, MOL confirms its commitment to meeting all the requirements regarding market competitiveness set by the European Commission and expresses its readiness to complete the acquisition of a 92.25% stake in OMV Slovenia in the coming months, MOL Slovenia said in a statement.
"We are convinced that the acquisition of the OMV network will strengthen competitiveness on the Slovenian market, as we will be able to utilize the entire production, logistics and processing capacities of the MOL Group in Central Europe to a greater extent than today. MOL operates on the regional market as one of the leading independent providers of petroleum products, as it successfully manages and develops the entire logistics chain," MOL president of retail Robert Pitt said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Croatian oil and gas group INA [ZSE:INA] said that it, together with its top shareholder, MOL, is a step closer to the acquisition of OMV Slovenia. "INA and MOL in 2021 signed a deal to take over OMV’s share of 92.25 % in OMV Slovenia. Since the transaction requires approval for the merger, MOL group now is selling 39 of its filling stations in Slovenia to make possible the takeover," INA said in a press release.
On March 9, MOL signed an agreement with British-Dutch oil and gas company Shell for the sale of 39 filling stations in Slovenia, some of which belong to the Slovenian unit of MOL and some to OMV Slovenija, INA said. This is one of the key issues to resolve in order to obtain a positive opinion from the European Commission for MOL's previously announced takeover of OMV Slovenija, it added.
OMV Slovenia operates a network of 120 filling stations in Slovenia. The transaction also includes the wholesale business of the takeover target. INA owns 7.75% interest in OMV Slovenia. Under the deal with MOL, the Croatian company will increase its stake in the Slovenian one to 33%.
In June 2022, the EU Commission said it is opening a detailed inquiry into the acquisition of OMV Slovenia by MOL. The Commission had to make public its decision by October 28 but decided to postpone it due to concerns that the merger of the third and second largest fuel retailers in Slovenia after partially state-owned Petrol would result in the new entity holding a very large share of the local market.
MOL unveiled an agreement in 2021 to buy a 92.25% stake in OMV Slovenia at an enterprise value of 346 million euro ($371 million). OMV Slovenia operates 119 fuel stations under the OMV, OMV Viva, Diskont, Avanti and EuroTruck brands and is also active in the wholesale supply of motor fuels, heating oil and bitumen.
($ = 0.93216 euro)
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