The geopolitics of merger and acquisition in the central European energy market

Butler, E. (2011) The geopolitics of merger and acquisition in the central European energy market. Geopolitics, 16(3), pp. 626-654. (doi: 10.1080/14650045.2011.520866)

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In September 2007 the Austrian oil and gas company, OMV, issued a declaration of intent to merge with its Hungarian competitor, MOL. The merger was regarded by MOL as a hostile takeover bid and it initiated a series of measures designed to defend its independence and position within the Central European energy market. These measures, while intended to shore up MOL’s defences in the face of an increased threat of merger and acquisition from larger companies aided by the demands of the EU to liberalise the energy market, reflect the rising instance of economic nationalism within the EU and have specific implications for the promotion of solidarity at an EU level. At the same time they also reflect the increased securitization of energy. This is important when you consider that the actions of multiple players in the battle for MOL, including Russia through involvement of Surgutneftegaz following its purchase of a series of MOL shares in March 2009, has effectively created an energy security dilemma, whereby the actions of one actor to increase its own security leads to retaliatory actions by a second actor threatened by the actions of the first. Within the Central European energy market this is happening on multiple levels and impacts the relations between EU member states, the EU and Russia. The article uses the MOL case to highlight how the geopolitics of merger and acquisition in the Central European energy market means it effectively operates in a state of persistent insecurity.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Energy, Europe, Hungary, Russia, geopolitics, merger, acquisition, MOL, Gazprom, OMV, EU
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Butler McIntosh, Dr Eamonn
Authors: Butler, E.
Subjects:J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Geopolitics
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1557-3028
Published Online:05 August 2011
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis
First Published:First published in Geopolitics 16(3):626-654
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
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