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Lotos faces fight for Neste's gas stations -paper

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WARSAW, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Polish refiner Lotosmay have to fend off its larger domestic rival PKN Orlen to acquire Finnish Neste's 106 gas stationsin Poland, the two groups said.

"The sale process has launched. The subject is beinganalysed by us," Lotos' deputy head Mariusz Machajewski tolddaily Parkiet.

PKN, state-controlled like Lotos and leading the market with1,758 stations in the country, is "observing the oil marketsituation, with a view to potential takeover possibilities," thedaily quoted PKN's spokeswoman Beata Karpinska.

PKN, the country's top refiner, said in July it wasconsidering buying the chain of Polish fuel stations.

Neste's network, valued by analysts at 200 million zlotys($63.28 million), would help Lotos, which has 368 stations inthe country, move ahead of Royal Dutch Shell and BP

into the No.2 spot in the domestic market.

($1=3.1604 Polish zlotys)

(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; editing by Mike Nesbit)

((adrian.krajewski@thomsonreuters.com)(+48 22 653 97 09Reuters Messaging:adrian.krajewski.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: LOTOS NESTE/