Felcsut mayor Lorinc Meszaros (pictured here with Prime Minister Viktor Orban) is on a roll. The construction company he owns with his wife, Meszaros & Meszaros Kft., won a HUF 25.8 billion (USD 117 million) contract in December to build a regional water network in south-east Hungary as part of a consortium, according to napi.hu.
At a time when record numbers of construction companies are declaring bankruptcy, M&M’s revenues have more than doubled annually every year for the past three years, from HUF 854 million (USD 3.9 million) in 2010 to HUF 4.6 billion (USD 21 million) in 2012 thanks to a slew of government contracts won at public tender. Between 2010 and 2012 the company’s pre-tax profits increased nearly six-fold from HUF 215 million (USD 1 million) to HUF 1.3 billion (USD 5.8 million), enabling it to pay dividends of HUF 321 million (USD 1.5 million) and HUF 800 million (USD 3.6 million) in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The National Water Management Directorate (OVF) issued a public tender in the middle of October and announced the results two months later. The smaller of two regional drinking water improvement projects was awarded to a consortium consisting of Bekes Dren Kft. and Aquaprofit Zrt. for HUF 8.2 billion (USD 37 million). The larger project was awarded to a consortium made up of Bekes Dren Kft., Duna Aszfalt Kft., and Meszaros & Meszaros Kft. for HUF 25.8 billion (USD 118 million). Napi.hu notes that this is HUF 3.8 billion (USD 17 million) more than the estimated cost appearing in the public procurement documents.
In 2013 Meszaros & Meszaros also won a HUF 9.5 billion (USD 43 million) contract to build public utilities in Budapest as part of a consortium led by Colas Alterra Epitoipari Zrt.
In March 2012 the Water Management Directorate for western Hungary awarded Meszaros & Meszaros Kft. and Bekes Dren Kft. a HUF 880 million (USD 4 million) contract to do canalization works. They were the only bidders.
Later that year M&M was part of a Közgép led consortium that won a HUF 4.5 billion (USD 20 million) contract to build a regional solid waste reclamation project, as well as a HUF 1.6 billion (USD 7 million) to build a similar project together with a company owned by Austrian construction giant Strabag
Meszaros’ remarkable good fortune at winning public tenders has not been limited to huge, EU-funded government projects. In 2012 an agricultural company owned by Meszaros won the right to cultivate over one thousand hectares of state owned land for 20 years along with members of his family.
The rags to riches story of this former gas plumber has fueled speculation that Lorinc Meszaros is actually the straw of Felcsut’s other famous son: Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Since 2007 Meszaros has also served as chairman of the board of trustees of the foundation set up to run the Puskas Ferenc Football Academy, a project known to be very close to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s heart. So close, that it is building an enormous football stadium directly next Orban’s home at Hungarian taxpayer expense.
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