BUDAPEST, May 24 (Reuters) - Hungary has bought back a 21.2 percent stake in oil and gas company MOL (MOLB.BU) from Russian oil firm Surgutneftegas (SNGS.MM), Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday. “Today Hungary has reacquired a 21.2 percent stake in MOL from Russia,” Orban told a news conference. “It was more than a purchase, it was a tough struggle.”
“From a national strategic point of view, we have managed to place one of the most important corporations into safe hands.”
Surgut bought the MOL stake from Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI) in 2009 saying it wished to be a strategic investor. MOL has regarded Surgut’s buying the stake in MOL an unfriendly move.
The deal could be worth about 500 billion forints ($2.60 billion) at Tuesday’s market price.
MOL asked for its shares to be suspended for the rest of the day at 1115 GMT, up 4.1 percent of the day, pending a major announcement. [ID:nLDE74N1DQ] (Reporting by Krisztina Than and Marton Dunai; Editing by Louise Heavens) ($1=192.44 Hungarian Forint)