ZAGREB, July 26, 2018 – Environment Protection and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Thursday the process of a possible buyout of Hungarian energy group MOL’s stake in Croatian peer INA was taking its course and that he expected an expert analysis by the government’s consultants, Morgan Stanley and partners, to be ready by year’s end.
Asked by reporters if the case of MOL CEO Zsolt Hernadi would affect the process, Ćorić said, “Why should it?”
The Court of Justice of the European Union said on Wednesday Hungary should not have ignored an arrest warrant for Hernadi only based on a decision of its Public Prosecutor’s Office to close a criminal investigation within which he was questioned only as a witness.
The European arrest warrant for Hernadi, which some states have ignored, was issued after Croatia’s USKOK anti-corruption office accused him of giving former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader 10 million euro in bribes so that MOL could have management rights in INA.
“The process concerning INA is taking its course. The consultants are doing their job. We expect the European court’s decision to be honoured. We expect the expert analysis by Morgan Stanley and its partners to be ready by the end of the year,” said Ćorić.
In January 2017, the government set up a council for negotiations with MOL on a possible buyout of MOL’s stake in INA. This past April, the government chose a consortium comprising Morgan Stanley, Intesa Sanpaolo Group and Privredna Banka Zagreb as its investment consultants in the possible buyout and subsequent sale to a new strategic partner for INA.