István Garancsi (left) with MOL CEO Zsolt Hernádi, OTP CEO Sándor Csányi and Viktor Orbán
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s friend István Garancsi has purchased 100 percent of ESMA Zrt., a Spanish-Hungarian advertisement company, reports Hungarian newspaper Népszava.
According to the statement written by ESMA president István Bleuer, Garancsi’s was the best of several offers received by the company’s owners.
The statement said Garancsi’s goal is to have ESMA coordinate the activities of his other advertising companies.
Népszava writes that ESMA Zrt.’s assets include the right to advertise on the poles of street lights. However, this advertising practice was banned three years ago and caused significant revenues fallout for the company.
An owner of Swiss-based MET gas trading company, a major energy supplier to Hungary, Garancsi appears to have cash to burn. Several months ago he acquired a controlling interest in Market Epitő Zrt. from Wing Zrt., the real estate holding company of the Wallis group of companies previously run by former prime minister Gordon Bajnai.
Between 2010 and 2014 the government and a multitude of public companies advertised primarily through companies owned by Fidesz oligarch Lajos Simicska. However, now that the enigmatic oligarch has publicly fallen out with Orbán, the government may be looking for other companies close to Fidesz on which to squander billions of forints worth of Hungarian and European taxpayer money.
Referenced in this article: