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October 18, 2021updated 27 Oct 2021 3:30pm

Hungarian Government makes $4.6bn takeover bid for Budapest Airport

Talks for the transaction are being led by Hungary’s Innovation and Technology Ministry.

A consortium headed by the Hungarian Government has reportedly made a bid of nearly $4.6bn (€4bn) to obtain the control of Budapest Airport (BUD) completely.

This offer is being weighed by the airport’s owners, reported Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter, with no decision finalised so far.

A transaction might be materialised prior to the country’s general elections, which is anticipated in April next year.

On behalf of the government, the deal talks are being led by Hungary’s Innovation and Technology Ministry.

In May, reports emerged that Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is interested in a controlling stake in BUD, citing that its privatisation was against the country’s ‘strategic interests’.

Airport owners have been briefed that partly state-owned refiner Mol Nyrt, and Hungarian real estate group Indotek’s founder Daniel Jellinek, are part of the consortium.

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A year ago, Bloomberg first reported that a consortium comprising Mol and Jellinek had approached the airport with a final unsuccessful unsolicited bid.

As previously reported by the media company, the hub’s owners are looking into who the other members of the consortium are and whether the group holds the financial competence and technical knowledge to buy and operate the airport.

Earlier this year, a non-binding offer (NBO) for the airport was turned down as it was said to have undervalued the hub.

Presently, AviAlliance GmbH, owned by the Canadian Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), holds a 55.44% stake in the airport.

Singapore’s GIC Special Investments and Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec each have nearly 20% interest in the airport.

Bloomberg has been informed that Orban’s government plans to conclude an agreement by the end of this year.

In 2020, the airport recorded an EBITDA of $44m (€38m) as well as a full-year loss of $127.32m (€110m) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

By 2023, the Hungarian gateway expects its operations to bounce back to pre-Covid levels.

In 2005, the privatisation of the hub was initiated, and the Hungarian government sold its remaining holding in 2011.

This concession agreement will continue until 2080.

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