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Polish fuel giant CEO expects EC okay for peer takeover in coming days

Albert Zawada/PAP

The CEO of Poland’s dominant oil and gas company, PKN Orlen, has said that the European Commission (EC) should give the final green light to the takeover of its rival Lotos Group within several days.

Daniel Obajtek told reporters on Wednesday that he does not expect a decision other than final consent, because the EC has accepted Orlen’s explanations regarding remedial measures.

“We have clarified all concerns, a decision by the European Commission will be issued within anywhere between 10 and 20 days,” he said.

On June 2, PKN Orlen’s management board approved a draft plan to merge with Lotos. “Only as one group with diversified revenues, which is resistant to extremely dynamic changes in the macroeconomic environment, we will be able to effectively respond to challenges and carry Poland through the difficult and demanding, but also necessary, energy transition,” Obajtek said at the time.

The takeover of the Lotos Group by Orlen was initiated in February 2018. Orlen filed a preliminary motion for EU approval of the transaction in November 2018, followed by an official motion in July 2019.

In July 2020, the European Commission approved the acquisition of Lotos Group under the condition that certain divestments are carried out. Both Lotos and Orlen are controlled by the Polish state.

As part of the required by EC spin-off Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian oil company, bought a stake in the refining subsidiary of Lotos, while the MOL Group, a Hungarian oil and gas company, purchased 417 petrol stations from Lotos, and Orlen bought 144 petrol stations operated by the MOL Group in Hungary and 41 in Slovakia. 


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