Austrian oil and gas group OMV has upped the ante in its hostile bid to take over Hungary’s MOL. It has told MOL shareholders it would offer some fourteen billion euros if their board agrees to negotiate. But MOL has once again rebuked the approach saying it would not talk with OMV as the intended bid undervalued its business.
OMV is Austria’s largest listed industrial company and the leading oil and gas company in central Europe with consolidated sales of some 19 billion euros. It has a workforce of around 41-thousand employees and is active in thirteen central European countries. It now owns 20 percent of MOL and launched its bid to create central Europe’s biggest energy group in June.
Despite saying it sought MOL’s approval, OMV met fierce resistance from management and has turned to shareholders instead.
OMV chief executive Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer says his company first approached MOL’s board and is now approaching shareholders because they requested it. The Austrian government holds more than 31 percent of OMV. Hungary has drafted legislation to stop foreign companies from acquiring Hungarian energy companies and it says it will keep pursuing this law.