MOL cleared by European Commission to buy Italian oil firm IES

Oct 31, 2007 01:00 AM

The European Commission (EC) approved the acquisition of Italian oil company IES by Hungary's top oil and gas company MOL, the EC announced.
"The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Italiana Energia e Servizi (IES) of Italy by MOL of Hungary," according to the commission. "The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure."

MOL signed an agreement to buy 100% of IES from its private owners on July 30 this year, following a six-month competitive bidding process. MOL said at the time it would not disclose the purchase price until final closing of the transaction.
IES is a refining and marketing company with 600 employees, owning the Mantova refinery in the industrialized North-Italian region, with annual processing capacity of 2.6 mm tons. The refinery processes heavy crude oil supplied via a 124-km long pipeline owned by IES from the Marghera Port, and it has a Nelson Complexity Index (measuring secondary conversion capacity and used to indicate a refiner's value) of 8.36 and had a utilization rate of 96% in 2006.

MOL said it intends to raise the refinery's capacity to 3 mm tons with the help of a five-year EUR 130 mm capital investment program, which would also include a corresponding increase in the crude oil pipeline capacity, as well as improvements to IES's product slate.
IES markets 2.5 mm tons of petroleum products mainly in North-Eastern Italy. IES Group currently has 165 retail stations (of which 30 are company-owned) located mainly in the supply radius of the refinery.

In its ruling, the EC recalled that MOL is active in the exploration and production of crude oil, natural gas and gas products; refining and marketing of crude oil products at both retail and wholesale level, transmission of natural gas, and production and sales of petrochemical products.
Meanwhile, IES is active in the refining of crude oil and subsequent sales of each derivative oil products, retailsales of fuels, sale of bitumen and provision of catering services along roads.

Source: Interfax Central Europe
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