The Polish Senate accepted a new law blocking Hungarian MOL to buy 417 Lotos petrol stations in Poland. The two companies signed an agreement on the issue in January, but the upper house of the Polish legislation vetoed it.
According to Piac és Profit, Hungarian MOL announced on 12th January that they signed a 610 million dollars agreement to buy 417 petrol stations in Poland. The seller was the Grupa Lotos SA. If the agreement had been carried through, MOL could have become the third biggest fuel retailing company in Poland. They said then that the agreement’s prerequisite was the European Commision’s green light on the fusion of Lotos and PKN Orlen. The commission cleared earlier that they would allow the fusion only if Lotos sold at least 80 pc of their petrol stations to avoid the creation of a monopoly. Furthermore, Lotos had to sell its shares (30 pc) in the Gdansk oil refinery.
The Senate of Poland vetoed this business plan.
They accepted a law modification that made the fusion of Orlen and Lotos impossible. Polish Energetyka believes that the legislation’s goal was to block MOL’s expansion in the country. Speaker Tomasz Grodzki said before the Senate’s session that their original plan was not to sell Lotos petrol stations to MOL, a company controlled by Russian money, especially not at the time of an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Grodzki also said that Hungary’s behaviour regarding the conflict was odd and incomprehensible. He expressed hope that the lower house of the Polish bicameral Parliament, the Seim, would accept the proposal of the Senate.
Many senators believe selling the petrol stations and the shares in the Gdansk oil refinery is against national interest. They added that MOL is in a close relationship with Russia. Government representatives and senators of the governing parties disagreed. Jan Kanthak, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of State Assets, said that the fusion of the two Polish companies could create an energy giant. That could help the diversification of the oil supply, they argued.
Finally, 53 senators supported, while 45 objected to the proposal. Opposition senators highlighted after the vote that they successfully suspended the purchase of Lotos to Hungary and the Russians standing behind them.
Source: Piac és Profit