PRAGUE, June 24 Czech downstream oil group
Unipetrol has held talks with OMV about
buying the Austrian group's Czech gas station network, weekly
magazine Euro reported on Monday.
Unipetrol, majority owned by Poland's PKN Orlen, is
planning to invest up to $1 billion over the next five years to
return to profit.
It aims to increase its share of the retail fuel market to
20 percent by 2017 from 14 percent.
In an interview with the Czech magazine, Unipetrol Chief
Executive Marek Switajewski said the company was open to
acquisitions in the retail market but declined to comment on
"We are negotiating with gas station owners, but the talks
are confidential," he was quoted as saying. "I cannot say also
whether we are talking with large or small players."
An Unipetrol spokesman declined to say with whom the company
was speaking. An OMV spokesman also declined to comment.
Unipetrol posted net losses in 2011 and last year, hit by a
downturn in European markets that has squeezed margins for
refiners and left the industry with excess capacity.
(Reporting by Jason Hovet)