ZAGREB, July 29, 2019 – Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Monday that information about a possible new government consultant for the buy-back of INA’s shares from the Hungarian energy group MOL would be clearer after a meeting of the INA Advisory Committee on Wednesday.
Asked whether a new consultant would be selected in the process of buying back INA’s shares, Ćorić said that the Advisory Committee was meeting on Wednesday and that after that the next steps would be known.
Last year the government selected the consortium of Morgan Stanley, Intesa Sanpaolo Group and Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ) to act as the government’s investment advisor on the possible buy-back of INA’s shares from MOL and the possible subsequent sale of those shares to a new strategic partner. The consortium’s offer for this task was €8 million.
The Nova TV commercial television channel said on Sunday that the Advisory Committee would select a new consultant who would conduct a deep scan of INA and that the task could possibly be given to the Lazard firm.
Asked why the consortium failed to calculate INA’s worth, Ćorić said that “disputes emerged regarding certain activities” and the task was not completed.
Ćorić asserted that it was realistic for the government to make an offer based on the results of the analysis and for the other side to then react to that bid. He added that a decision on the buy-back would only be known in the final phase.
“The buyer Croatia and the seller MOL have to agree on a price,” he added.
In response to reporters’ remarks that this could burden relations considering that the Hungarians wanted to be involved in the LNG Terminal on Krk island, Ćorić said that these were two separate matters. One refers to relations between Croatia and a private company whereas the matter of the LNG terminal refers to relations between the two countries.
“Croatia is interested in a partnership regarding the LNG terminal and not only with Hungary,” he said, adding that Croatia wanted to retain a dominant role in the LNG terminal as its majority owner.
“We have a Hungarian bid to purchase 25% of the terminal. As far as we are concerned, negotiations on this matter are contingent primarily on the lease of the terminal’s capacity,” Ćorić said.
Asked whether the government was satisfied with the way INA was being managed, Ćorić said that the fact that the government wanted to buy back MOL’s stake in INA spoke for itself.
In the meantime, communication has improved while in the future decisions regarding investments, primarily in the refinery business, are essential, he said.
More news about the INA-MOL issue can be found in the Business section.