Croatia's INA plans to go to court over Beopetrol sale
27.08.2003 09:48:00 GMT
MOL: Croatia's INA plans to go to court over Beopetrol sale
Budapest. (Interfax-Europe) -Croatian oil company INA will turn to an international arbitration court if the Serbian government approves the sale of Serbian oil firm Beopetrol, INA executive Tomislav Dragicevic said in an interview on the Serbian channel B92, MTI's Belgrade correspondent reported.
Serbia's privatization agency announced on Monday that it would sell a 79.53% stake in Beopetrol to Russia's Lukoil. In the privatization tender Lukoil offered EUR 207 million for Beopetrol while the other bidder, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company, offered EUR 187 million. MOL has recently won a bidding to buy a 25% stake in INA.
Serbian privatization minister Aleksandar Vlahovic said the talks with Lukoil will start in three days, but if they fail, the government will sign the contract with MOL.
Formed after the collapse of Yugoslavia, Beopetrol took over INA's petrol retail business in Serbia. INA is suing for the lost property in a Belgrade court. Vlahovic said Beopetrol lawfully acquired the petrol station network, and the lawsuit had no delaying impact on the privatization tender.
Kovacevic said that while MOL would probably sell oil processed in Hungarian refineries, Lukoil, located farther from Serbia, will likely refine crude in Serbian refineries when the oil trade restrictions are lifted.