It is increasingly likely that the Hungarian government will partner with the French company Vinci SA in the acquisition of Budapest Airport Zrt. Following the sale of the government’s 15 percent stake in the Hungarian subsidiary of Erste Bank for HUF 87.5 billion (EUR 232.3 million), the deal could be finalized before the end of the year.
The Hungarian state-owned Corvinus International Investment Zrt. will sell its 15 percent minority stake in Erste Bank Hungary Zrt. to its Austrian parent Erste Bank AG, Világgazdaság reported last Friday. The purchase price of the stake acquired in 2016 was HUF 38.9 billion (EUR 103.3 million), while the current sale price is HUF 87.5 billion, making the investment a financial success for the state. Máté Lóga, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development, informed Világgazdaság that
the government sold its stake in Erste in order to buy the airport.
Earlier, Economic Development Minister Márton Nagy indicated that the government would also use a state bank loan to buy Budapest Airport, and this week state-owned Exim Bank issued an EUR 1 billion bond.
Hungary Today previously reported that the Ministry of Economic Development made changes to the aviation law last month. It was then almost certain that the state was preparing the ground for the takeover of Budapest Airport.
Világgazdaság, citing Bloomberg, now reports that
Vinci could become a minority owner of up to 49 percent and the professional operator after the deal closes, but the site’s source said that negotiations had not yet been finalized.
Vinci operates more than seventy airports worldwide, including London Gatwick, Lisbon and Belgrade airports.
The government could acquire a 51 percent stake in Budapest Airport. In the failed takeover attempt in 2021, the airport was valued at EUR 4.4 billion. However, it is still unknown what the purchase price might be now.
Via Világgazdaság, Featured image: Facebook/Budapest Airport