SeeNews | 2 February 2017
Croatia seeks annulment of UNCITRAL’s INA-MOL ruling before Swiss court
Croatia has lodged a request with the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland for the annulment of an arbitral award by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in the case INA-MOL, prime minister Andrej Plenkovic said.
In December, UNCITRAL dismissed Croatia’s claims of bribery and of alleged breaches of a shareholders agreement for oil and gas company INA [ZSE:INA-R-A] by Hungarian energy group MOL. The lawsuit was filed by Croatia in 2014 with the aim to cancel a 2009 deal which saw MOL gain managerial rights over INA without a majority stake.
Croatia’s arguments are very well substantiated, and hopefully the Swiss Federal Court will analyse them in a responsible manner over the next several months, Plenkovic said, as quoted in a statement released by the government on Wednesday.
INA, the biggest Croatian energy company, is owned by Hungarian oil company MOL with a 49.08% stake and the Croatian government with 44.84%, as institutional and private investors hold 6.08%.
Following news that Croatia had lost the case to INA, Plenkovic said Croatia will regain ownership of the oil and gas company by buying back the whole stake held by Hungarian energy group.
Currently the plan is to sell a 25% stake minus one share in the country’s HEP power company in order to fund the INA buyback.
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington is also expected to rule on the INA-MOL matter sometime this year.