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MOL buys out 98.5% of Slovnaft shares

The Hungarian oil company MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Rt has increased its ownership of Slovakia's largest oil company, Slovnaft, to 98.5% as of Friday. This ends a nearly yearlong dispute which followed a 2003 MOL purchase of roughly two-thirds of the shares in Slovnaft, Slovakia's largest oil company.

On making this purchase, MOL was mandated to offer to buy out the small shareholders. The company representing the small shareholders, J and T, rejected MOL's offer of SKK 1,200/share (Euro 1 = SKK 40.42) as too low, and repeatedly vetoed MOL's offers at the Slovak financial watchdog UFT.

MOL charged that manipulative measures had been taken to push up the price, but UFT rejected its argument. UFT accepted an offer of SKK 1,379/share, which MOL made on November 25. The transaction was completed on Friday, with MOL purchasing 5.856 million shares at that price.

(BBJ 26.i.04)

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