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The owners of Budapest Airport, the operator of Liszt Ferenc International, “no longer rule out the possibility of selling BA, but seek a higher price”, daily Magyar Nemzet reported on Monday, citing industry insiders.

BA received the government’s non-binding offer last week and did not refuse it, but the owners consider the price offered as “below market value”, the daily said, adding that the owners had earlier refused to sell their share in the company.

László Palkovics, the innovation and technology minister, declined to comment on a transaction being negotiated, the paper said. Airport operator AviAlliance, one of the owners, similarly declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.

Palkovics said earlier that the largest stakeholder, a Canadian pension fund, was “not really interested in contributing to Hungary’s economic development with a modern and civilized airport”, the paper said.

PM Orbán Confirms Interest in Buying Budapest Airport
PM Orbán Confirms Interest in Buying Budapest Airport

Airports belong to one of those strategic sectors in which domestic ownership would be desirable, Orbán said.Continue reading

Budapest Airport was privatized in 2005, under “momentary fiscal circumstances”, the paper said, adding that the concession deal, negotiated for 75 years, ensures an extremely strong position for the foreign investors, who are entitled to collect nearly all revenues generated through airport services.

Featured photo illustration by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI