Published: December 20 2023
The Hungarian government has sold its stake in mobile phone operator Yettel Hungary to fund the acquisition of Budapest Airport. The stake was sold to Dutch holding company TMT Hungary Holdco B.V., a member of the PPF Group. The proceeds from the sale will be used by the government to finance the reacquisition of Budapest Airport. This move is part of the government's effort to maintain its involvement in the telecoms sector while focusing on developing the airport.
Sale of Stake in Yettel Hungary
The Hungarian state-owned Corvinus International Investment Ltd. has sold its 25 percent stake in Yettel Hungary Ltd. and Yettel Real Estate Hungary Ltd., as well as its 20 percent stake in CETIN Hungary Ltd. The valuation of the state's shareholding and the market conformity of the transaction were assessed by independent experts. Yettel's customers will not be directly affected by the change in ownership structure, and they will continue to benefit from the company's services.
Financing the Acquisition of Budapest Airport
The Hungarian government aims to acquire a majority stake in Budapest Airport Ltd., potentially 51%. The specific buyer could be a state-controlled investment company, while a minority stake may go to a professional investor, such as France's VINCI Airports. The government made changes to the aviation law in October to pave the way for the takeover of the airport. The government has been selling its stakes in various companies, including the Hungarian subsidiary of Erste Bank, to generate funds for the airport acquisition.
Importance of the Telecoms Sector
Despite selling its stake in Yettel Hungary, the government will maintain its involvement in the strategically important telecoms sector. It has entered into a cooperation agreement with Magyar Telekom and Vodafone, ensuring continued participation in the sector. Corvinus Ltd. will retain its 29.5 percent stake in Vodafone Hungary, allowing it to contribute significantly to the sector's development from an ownership perspective.
Valuation of Budapest Airport
The precise value of Budapest Airport in the current transaction is unclear. In a failed state takeover attempt in 2021, the airport was valued at EUR 4.4 billion. However, the actual purchase price for the acquisition has not been disclosed. The government's aim is to develop the airport, including plans to build a third terminal, with the support of the Qatar Investment Authority as part of the consortium.
Questions & Answers
What is the recent news about the Hungarian Government and Budapest Airport? The Hungarian Government has sold its stake in mobile phone operator company Yettel Hungary to fund the reacquisition of Budapest Airport. The buyer is Dutch holding company TMT Hungary Holdco B.V., a member of the PPF Group.
What will the proceeds from the sale be used for? The proceeds from the sale of Yettel Hungary will be used by the Hungarian Government to finance the reacquisition of Budapest Airport.
Will there be any changes for Yettel's customers due to the change in ownership? No, the change in ownership structure will not directly affect Yettel's customers. Residential and business customers will continue to benefit from the company's services in the same way.
Who will maintain the government's involvement in the telecoms sector after the sale? After the sale, the government's involvement in the telecoms sector will be maintained through a cooperation agreement with Magyar Telekom and Vodafone. Corvinus Ltd. will continue to hold a 29.5 percent stake in Vodafone Hungary.
What other recent actions has the Hungarian Government taken in preparation for the acquisition of Budapest Airport? In October, the Ministry of Economic Development made changes to the aviation law to prepare for the takeover of Budapest Airport. In November, the government also sold its 15 percent stake in the Hungarian subsidiary of Erste Bank, which was speculated to be part of the funding for the airport acquisition.
What is the current valuation of Budapest Airport? The current valuation of Budapest Airport is not known. The airport was valued at EUR 4.4 billion in a failed state takeover attempt in 2021, but the exact purchase price is yet to be determined.