Forbes Hungary has released its list of the country’s richest people. It should come as no surprise that the business monthly found lowly pipefitter-turned-business savant Lőrinc Mészáros to be the 8th-richest person in Hungary.
Considered by many to be a front man for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Mészáros has risen 20 places on the Forbes ranking since last year when Forbes estimated his wealth to be around HUF 35 billion. Since then, Forbes estimates this has tripled to some HUF 105 billion (USD 392 million).
Some statistics from Forbes:
- Mészáros owns 121 companies;
- This year alone, he incorporated 82 companies;
- His companies have been awarded some HUF 241.8 billion (USD 902) in public procurements;
- His companies have received some HUF 17 billion in state and EU subsidies;
- His recently acquired media ventures have received some HUF 2.7 billion in state advertising this year alone;
- The Ferenc Puskás Academy, the soccer school founded by Orbán and of which Mészáros is the chairman of the board, received some HUF 2.9 billion in TAO (corporate tax-breaks) contributions from companies this year alone;
- Mészáros’ business empire expands by an average of two companies per week; and
- His businesses range from wineries to construction, real estate development to agriculture, and media to tourism.
According to Forbes, four of the wealthiest 33 Hungarians have extremely close ties to ruling party Fidesz. These individuals include Mészáros, László Szíjj, Andy Vajna, and István Garancsi.