MOL signed an agreement today with Grupa Lotos and PKN Orlen to acquire 417 filling stations in Poland for 610 million US dollars (535 million euros). An additional long-term agreement provides motor fuel supply for the acquired network in Poland. Following the transaction, the Hungarian oil and gas group can become the third biggest player in the Polish fuel retail market, owning more filling stations in Poland than in Hungary.
With this transaction, MOL enters the tenth country with its retail business, expanding its portfolio from 1943 to 2390 filling stations, operated under 5 different brands. This includes the recently acquired 120 OMV Slovenia service stations and the 95 new service stations in Slovakia and Hungary. (These deals are subject to merger clearance). MOL set the goal of expanding its filling station network to 2200 units in the Central and Eastern European region by 2025. By entering the Polish market, this target will be already exceeded.
“Through the acquisition, we will enter the largest market in Central and Eastern Europe and reach approximately 40 million potential customers with our products and services,” said Zsolt Hernádi, President and CEO of MOL Group adding that Hungary and Poland for the common goal of securing energy supplies in the Central and Eastern European region and the agreement will further strengthen the North-South energy corridor.
Mr Hernádi emphasised that the agreement is a significant step in the strategic transformation of MOL which was given further impetus with the group’s updated strategy last year.
“The acquisition of a stake in the ACG oil field in Azerbaijan, the construction of a new polyol plant in Hungary and our entry into Poland are all important milestones on the road to achieving our goals,” underlined the CEO of MOL.
Poland is a new market for the Hungarian oil and gas company. The country has a strong economic outlook and a significant vehicle fleet, as well as huge market potential in the region, with annual fuel consumption of 23 million tonnes and growth expectations of 1-2 per cent in the medium term. As part of the transaction, MOL will also have the opportunity for further organic growth and expansion of non-fuel sales.
“We are not stopping here: we believe that the Consumer Services business is a major opportunity for us during the energy transition,” said Péter Ratatics, MOL Group’s Executive Vice President for Consumer Services adding that MOL aims to offer mobility solutions to meet changing consumer habits and the network of Lotos provides an excellent foundation for this.
The sale of part of Lotos’s filling stations is linked to the planned takeover of the company by PKN Orlen as the European Commission has made the takeover conditional on the sale of 80 per cent of Lotos’s filling stations and a 30 per cent stake in the company’s Gdansk refinery.
“In the retail sector, we have agreed with our Hungarian partner to an asset swap that will directly advance our geographic expansion plans by strengthening the Slovak retail chain, as well as a completely new entry into the Hungarian market,” said Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN ORLEN.
Subject to the final approval of the acquisition, MOL will sell a total of 185 filling stations to PKN Orlen for 259 million US dollars (227 million euros); 144 in Hungary and 41 in Slovakia. The transaction is subject to the European Commission’s approval of the merger of PKN Orlen and Lotos.
Lotos’s network includes about 700 to 800 gas stations. MOL confirmed in August last year that the company was interested in the Polish retail market.