Final Agreement on Repurchase of Budapest Airport Set for This Month by Gov't

  • 7 Feb 2024 9:06 AM
  • Hungary Today
Final Agreement on Repurchase of Budapest Airport Set for This Month by Gov't
An agreement on the buy-back of Budapest Airport could be reached as early as February, Márton Nagy announced at a press event, reports Világgazdaság.

The Minister of National Economy held the event mainly on the subject of EXIM (export-import) and MFB (Hungarian Development Bank), but also touched on the reacquisition of Budapest Airport in response to a journalist’s question.

February is the new date for the transaction, he stressed. As stated at the beginning of January, a final agreement is close and the state can conclude the buy-back contract with the majority owner of Budapest Airport in the spring.

In comparison, February is therefore a closer date, which may indicate that the negotiations between the parties may have accelerated.

Indeed, it had previously looked as if the deal could be completed in 2023, but this has slipped to 2024. The reason is that there is an extremely complex sale process under way.

It had been revealed earlier that the Hungarian government would buy the airport in partnership with a French company, VINCI, and that Qatari state investors (Qatar Investment Authority) could then join as financial or strategic investors.

The national economy minister also told Bloomberg at the end of 2023 that if the deal goes through, the expansion of the airport will be on the agenda and there are plans to build a third terminal.

Since the beginning of September, it has been known that the government made a takeover bid for a majority stake in Budapest Airport Ltd., allegedly for 51%. The specific buyer could be a state-controlled investment company.

The minority stake would go to a professional investor, reportedly France’s VINCI Airports, a major airport operator in Europe and in the region.

In October, the Ministry of Economic Development made changes to the aviation law, preparing the ground for the takeover of the company.

Then, in November, the government sold its 15 percent stake in the Hungarian subsidiary of Erste Bank. At the time, Máté Lóga, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development, confirmed the speculation that the government sold its stake in order to buy the airport.

The state also sold its stake in the mobile phone operator Yettel Hungary. The revenue will also be used to purchase Budapest Airport.

The airport was valued at EUR 4.4 billion in the failed state takeover attempt in 2021, but it is not known how much it will be bought for now.

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Opposition Party Calls on Gov't to Develop Fixed Track Transport Rather Than Buying Budapest Airport

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