Hungarian government proposes to buy Budapest airport

Budapest — Hungary has offered to buy Budapest Airport from foreign shareholders as part of its efforts to return Budapest Airport to its national interest and protect what the government says is in its national interest.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Victor Oban’s government expressed interest in buying a majority stake in Hungary’s major international airports, saying past privatizations were against the country’s “strategic interests.”

Orbán, a nationalist who is often associated with European Commission loggerhead turtles on a variety of issues, wants to see the airport domestically, but until now its owner has not been interested in selling the airport. Since Orban came to power in 2010, his government has increased Hungary’s ownership in strategic sectors such as energy, banking and media.

The largest shareholder of Budapest Airport with 55.44% is AviAlliance GmbH (formerly Hochtief AirPort GmbH) owned by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) of Canada.

AviAlliance GmbH said on Monday that it had received an unsolicited offer from the Hungarian government.

“We can confirm that the Government of Hungary has submitted a non-binding offer to the shareholders of Budapest Airport. We are obliged to consider potential offers for the benefit of our co-shareholders and on a legal basis. “There is,” said the AviAlliance in an email reply to Reuters’ question.

“Nevertheless, this NBO was not started by us. The AviAlliance is a dedicated long-term investor … we strongly hope to be given the opportunity to continue investing in this airport. I will. “

GIC Special Investments in Singapore and Caisse de d’Etre Bank (CDPQ) in Canada each hold over 21%.

A government spokesman and CDPQ declined to comment. GIC could not comment immediately.

The Orban government has expanded its state ownership in several sectors since taking office in 2010.

The state is not currently investing in an airport that was privatized in 2005.

In an interview last month, Minister of Innovation and Technology Laszlo Parkovic, who was in charge of airport transactions, told website that the key to resuming tourism after a pandemic was the acquisition of an airport, and the owners have not invested enough. Criticized. For the quality of service at the airport.

Budapest Airport is a fast-growing, medium-sized airport that benefits from a low-cost travel boom, but faces a difficult market due to pandemic-related blockades.

Interested in five airports, including Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Athens, the AviAlliance said Budapest, like all European airports, was severely affected by the blockade of COVID-19.

“Nevertheless, we believe in the airport’s rapid economic recovery and long-term growth potential, so we continued to invest in airport infrastructure and operations during the current crisis,” he said. It was.

From Krisztina

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