Abu Dhabi's IPIC seeks to gain blocking stake in Austria's OMV

06 December 2011 20:20  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) plans to raise its stake in Austria’s oil and petrochemicals major OMV to “at least 25%”, Austria’s competition authority said on Tuesday.

IPIC currently holds 24.9% of OMV. A stake of 25% or more would give the Abu Dhabi state investment firm a “blocking minority stake” under Austrian law, enabling it to veto major strategic initiatives at OMV.

The authority, the Bundeswettbewerbsbehorde, said it received notice from IPIC about the planned increase in the OMV stake. The notice constitutes an “announcement of planned business combination” (Zusammenschussbekanntmachung) under Austria’s competition law, the authority said.

Austria’s daily paper, Die Presse, reported that IPIC’s plan to raise its stake in OMV comes just as a new Austrian law is expected to go into effect in coming weeks.

That law will give Austria’s economics ministry veto rights over investments of 25% or more in important Austrian infrastructure companies by investors from outside the EU, the European economic area or Switzerland, the paper reported.

In addition to its stake in OMV, IPIC portfolio companies include, among others, Canada’s NOVA Chemicals and Spain’s energy and petrochemicals firm CEPSA, as well as a stake in Austria-based petrochemicals and plastics firm Borealis, which is partly owned by OMV.

In related news, OMV said on Tuesday it is looking for buyers for its retail and commercial businesses in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

For more on OMV and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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