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Second round for INA's privatization

Croatian oil company INA will undertake a 15% initial public offering by the end of the year. Existing 25% shareholder and Hungarian peer MOL is keen to raise its stake to enhance its strategic position in the region.


Dividing up the cake  INA-MOL's regional ambitions

THE CROATIAN GOVERNMENT has announced the continuation of the privatization of INA, the national oil company, by inviting bids to act as financial adviser for an initial public offering of 15% of the company's shares.

The IPO constitutes the second stage in INA's privatization. The first was the sale of 25% plus one share in October 2003, in which Hungarian oil company MOL made the winning bid of $505 million. That valued INA at just over $2 billion.

Damir Polancec, Croatia's vice-president and a member of INA's supervisory board, was appointed head of the special commission to oversee the continuation of the privatization. Polancec told Euromoney that bids were delivered by late August and that the IPO itself was targeted for December but he is careful to state that the "quality of the work is much more important than the deadline – we won't be held as slaves to the deadline".

The financial adviser will have four tasks. It will assess the value of INA, make the necessary preparations for the IPO, advise on the best models for the privatization of further INA shares (see box) and take part in negotiations with potential strategic investors interested in these further shares.

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