MOL might sell its 25% stake in INA to buy own shares in order to fend-off a possible takeover bid by OMV AG, Wirtschaftsblatt reported, citing unidentified sources in Croatia.
Our view: We see the news as neutral at the moment. We believe that selling MOL's stake in INA would not necessarily be a bad thing, as we think the stock is overvalued. However, we see that MOL would strategically be forced into this position by the takeover attempts. MOL considered INA as a future earnings driver through a business restructuring, but it now struggles to boost its stake due to the reluctance of the Croatian government. Thus, we see this position as locked and that's why we also would not necessarily see the divestment negatively.