Gazprom zainteresiran za preuzimanje Ine

Head of Gazprom Aleksej Miller asked for political support from Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, as said from highly positioned sources from Budapest.

Russian gas giant and one of the biggest oil-gas companies in the world Gazprom is interested for taking over of Croatian oil company Ina.

According to information which Poslovni dnevnik got from high sources in Budapest, that interest was one of the main topics at the meeting of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and head of Gazprom Aleksej Miller held two days ago in capital of Hungary. According to those, so far not official, information, Miller came toBudapestfor working meeting with Orban, and even though formal reason of the meeting was big project of construction of pipelines South flow, according to unofficial  information it was talked about the possibility that Russian company from Hungarian MOL buy owners share in Ina. “Miller came to insure Orban’s support if MOL decides to with draw from Ina. Hungarian government is the biggest single share holder in MOL, and its support would be precondition of such transaction, and also there is political dimension of the whole case. Of course, MOL still didn’t make decision about sale, but if it happens, it seems that Gazprom would be the most serious candidate for overtaking”, said the source by Poslovni dnevnik, very close to the top of the Hungarian government.

47,26 % of Ina is in ownership of MOL and 1,6 % is in options

Official comment of those information on the meeting of Orban and Miller yesterday in Gazprom wasn’t possible to get, but the news on interest of Russian company for Ina unofficially  was proved to Poslovni by the few sources in domestic oil economy. “Interest definitely exists, but that story is still far from conclusion. First of all, Ina still-at least formally – is not for sale, and on the other hand decision on that if some Russian state company will start over taking will be brought in Kremlin.”, says one famous Croatian energy consultant. Interest of Gazprom for overtaking of Ina is definitely new moment in saga on inner share holders disputes of Croatian government and MOL on managing of that company. Till now the most possible buyer of Ina is considered Rosneft, the biggest among world oil companies whose shares quote on the stock.

It was considered that Rosneft would probably take over MOL’s share of 49 &, and than negotiate with the government on overtaking further  governments 19 %, by which it would get firm major position in the company, and it used as its base for further spreading in south east Europe and Mediterranean. Those speculations few days ago were strengthened by Croatian minister of economy Ivan Vrdoljak by saying that Government “talks” on the future of Ina with Rosneft and investors from Catarrh, who also expressed the wish to get deeper insight in information on business of Croatian oil company. Entrance of Gazprom in the whole story will additionally complicate the whole story, because withZagrebandBudapestthe faith of Ina would become the subject of political decision in one more capital-Moscow. As Gazprom and Rosneft are companies in major ownership of Russian government, it is hard to believe that they would be competitors one to each other in this transaction, but it is almost clear that their state authorities would make the decision who would start overtaking. Both have its arguments – while Rosneft last a year and a half in big business offensive, and overtaking of Ina would open the door of one more important market, Gazprom would by getting Ina’s resources create significant effects with its businesses in Serbia, and in total become the leader on the market of south east Europe.

Finally, competition on overtaking of Ina would be symbolically important battle of two maybe the most powerful business people inRussia-long term head of Gazprom Miller and head of Rosneft Igor Sečin, former Putin’s deputy. From perspective of Croatian government and MOL as actual share holders of MOL, the situation is sensitive. If the negotiation on joined managing of Ina fails and sale becomes real option, both sides will try to insure leading position in negotiations with future owner. If it is to assume that new owner of Ina, who ever it is, takes major package, nor Mol, or Croatian government can not insure that independently. There are two possibilities- whether share holds will be sold  together or both sides would try to get domestic pension funds on their side which consists of around 3,2 % of company. But, these are still speculations, at least until both sides formally announce that they are dedicated to negotiation.

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