The Slovenia Times

MOL willing to sell assets to get OMV takeover clearance

Service cars of the public administration to be filled at MOL service stations as a rule.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

The Hungarian energy company MOL has told the STA it is willing to sell some of its assets in order to acquire the European Commission's approval to take over OMV petrol stations in Slovenia. This was after the newspaper Dnevnik reported that MOL was about to start selling some of its service stations.

MOL neither confirmed nor denied the Dnevnik report in response to questions from the STA on 7 February, saying only that it was cooperating in the in-depth investigation of the European Commission.

MOL signed a €301 million contract to acquire 92.25% of the fuel retailer OMV Slovenija in 2021. Through its subsidiary INA, MOL already had a 7.75% stake in OMV Slovenija at the time.

OMV Slovenija runs 120 petrol stations, which makes it the second largest fuel retailer in the country after Petrol, which operates 318 stations. MOL is the third largest with 53 service stations.

The European Commission launched proceedings to examine market concentration in case of MOL in May 2022, concluding in a preliminary investigation that the transaction could lead to a decreased competition on Slovenia's fuel retail market.

According to Dnevnik, the European Commission had divided the fuel retail market into several segments for the purpose of this investigation: the motorways fuel market and several local markets.

Taking into account the country's entire fuel market, the takeover would have been approved, the paper reported, but added that the transaction would have led to a monopoly in some parts of Slovenia.

MOL entered the Slovenian market in 1996 with the aim to establish a retail network and wholesale operation. By 2011 the company operated 31 service stations, which included an acquisition of the network of service stations operated by retailer TUŠ. In 2016, 11 Agip service stations joined the MOL portfolio.

OMV decided to sell off its Slovenian petrol stations as part of an €2 billion divestment programme.


More from Business