Businesses connected to media/construction/publishing/insurance/hospitality mogul Lőrinc Mészáros made more acquisitions last week. Mészáros’ spectacular rise from rags to riches since Fidesz returned to power in 2010 and his close relationship to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have caused certain individuals (no doubt envious of his success) to accuse the former pipe-fitter of being little more than a front for Orbán, despite the latter’s professed aversion to matters of business.
- Appeninn Vagyonkezelő Holding Nyrt., a company belonging to the Mészáros business empire, acquired 18 retail properties (in 18 cities) for a total of EUR 14.5 million. The properties are currently under long-term lease by the Spar grocery chain, costing it HUF 572 million (USD 2.24 million) annually.
- Appeninn Vagyonkezelő Holding Nyrt. announced Friday that it had also acquired the “David House” villa at 59 Andrássy Boulevard in Budapest. The neo-renaissance building was constructed in 1882 and is directly across the street from the Terror House. The building was owned by Plaza House Kft., which was recently purchased by Appeninn for HUF 2.2 billion (USD 8.6 million). The transaction is expected to be completed in April, and marks the second purchase of a property on Andrássy Boulevard by Appeninn, the asset management company having acquired the historical building at number 105 in December.
A businessman’s businessman to rival Richard Branson and Elon Musk
In addition to his real estate holdings, Mészáros is involved in professional sports, construction, railroad engineering, energy, publishing (radio, print, online, and television), agriculture, banking, asset management, sewage line construction, and more. The Budapest Beacon has written extensively about the former pipe-fitter’s penchant for winning lucrative government contracts involving copious EU financing.
In January, Hungarian investigative journalism NGO Átlátszó.hu found that just 9 of Mészáros’ businesses had received more than USD 1.85 billion in EU-funded state contracts since 2010. In the first two weeks of this year alone, Mészáros’ companies were awarded USD 428 million in state contracts.