Tamás Leisztinger acquires Köki debt to state bank at steep discount

February 9, 2017

Translation of “Leisztinger again” appearing in print daily HVG on February 9th, 2017 (p. 59).

The left-wing billionaire, Tamás Leisztinger, has reacquired for himself the shopping center that went broke years ago.  The businessman recently sold a large part of his hotel chain to those close to Felcsút mayor Lőrinc Mészáros, or at least this can be deduced from the new people in management.  Perhaps this money made it possible for Leisztinger to purchase his own debt to the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) from the liquidator.

Leisztinger and another billionaire, Ottó Albrecht, were suspected of being behind the Swiss owner of the shopping center in Kőbánya-Kispest.   This suspicion has been reinforced since the new owner of the business center’s real estate is Köki East End Kft., whose directors include the two businessmen.  Leisztinger, however, did not submit an offer in the public auction of Köki held by the liquidator, but rather agreed with the latter behind closed doors.  For this reason it is not possible to know how much the state bank got for its debt, and how much it lost on the transaction.  The transparency of the transaction is further made difficult by the fact that a company registered in Panama was involved in obtaining the mortgage, one of whose managers previously did business with the Ukrainian mafia.  At the time Köki’s investors lost a lot of money, but if they succeeded in pushing down the value of the debt, then Köki can be rejuvenated with an improvement in retailing for its old-new owners.