The Polish Senate has vetoed the expansion of the Hungarian MOL because the company is controlled by Russia

The Polish Senate has accepted a new law preventing the Hungarian MOL from buying 417 Lotos petrol stations in Poland. The two companies signed an agreement on the issue in January, but Poland’s upper house of law vetoed it.

A huge business plan in danger

According Piac es Profit, Hungarian MOL announced on January 12 that it had signed a $610 million agreement for the purchase of 417 service stations in Poland. The seller was Grupa Lotos SA. Had the deal gone through, MOL could have become the third largest fuel retail company in Poland. They said then that the precondition for the deal was the green light from the European Commission for the merger of Lotos and PKN Orlen. The commission earlier cleared that it would only allow the merger if Lotos sold at least 80% of its gas stations to avoid creating 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 agreed to a change in the law that made it impossible to merge Orlen and Lotos. Polish Energy believes that the purpose of the legislation was to block MOL’s expansion into the country. President Tomasz Grodzki said before the Senate session that their original plan was not to sell Lotos gas stations to MOL, a company controlled by Russian money, especially not at the time of an ongoing war between the Russia and Ukraine.

Polish Senate thinks Russians behind MOL?

Grodzki also said Hungary’s behavior regarding the conflict was strange and incomprehensible. He expressed hope that the lower house of Poland’s bicameral parliament, the Seim, would accept the Senate’s proposal.

Many senators believe that selling gas stations and shares in the Gdansk oil refinery is against the national interest. They added that MOL has close relations with Russia. Government officials and senators from the ruling parties disagreed. Jan Kanthak, deputy minister of the Ministry of State Property, said the merger of the two Polish companies could create an energy giant. This could help diversify oil supply, they argued.

Finally, 53 senators supported, while 45 opposed the proposal. Opposition senators stressed after the vote that they had succeeded in suspending the purchase of Lotos from Hungary and the Russians who supported them.

Read alsoOil embargo against Russia: great relief for Hungary

Source: Piac es Profit

Laura T. Thrasher