Budapest Airport (BUD) owners have reportedly initiated formal discussions with the Hungary Government for the airport’s divestiture.

The owners have now entered into due diligence with the government, reported Reuters.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that a Hungarian Government-led consortium made a takeover offer of around $4.6bn (€4bn) for full control of the airport.

According to Reuters, the government-led consortium has now submitted a new non-binding bid to acquire the airport.

At present, AviAlliance, owned by the Canadian Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) has the largest holding in the airport at 55%.

GIC Special Investments and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) own more than 21% stakes each.

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Currently, the government does not hold any stake in the airport.

AviAlliance said: “The Hungarian Government has accepted our terms and conditions for starting formal negotiations. Therefore, we have decided to enter into a due diligence process.

“While this is potentially the first step towards the sale of the airport, we want to emphasise that the outcome of such a process is not predetermined.”

Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been vouching for bringing the airport into domestic hands.

In May, plans of the Hungarian Government eyeing a controlling stake in the airport were unveiled.

Later in July, the government reportedly submitted a non-binding offer to the airport’s stakeholders for the acquisition.

However, the offer was rejected by the airport’s stakeholders, who felt that it undervalued the hub.