Published: December 17 2023
The Hungarian government is looking to increase control over the Hungarian-Austrian railway company, Gysev, by acquiring a larger stake from Strabag. This move would give Hungary a more advantageous position and diminish the influence of the Austrian owners.
Current Ownership Structure
Currently, the Hungarian state holds just under a 66% stake in Gysev, while the Austrian state holds slightly over 28%, and Strabag holds the remaining 6%.
Increasing Hungary's Stake
Hungary plans to acquire the 6% stake held by Strabag through a favorable offer. By doing so, Hungary will have a two-thirds majority stake, significantly reducing the influence and decision-making power of the Austrian owners.
Tensions between Hungarian and Austrian Owners
Tensions have been growing between the Hungarian and Austrian owners of Gysev. Construction and Transport Minister, János Lázár, has expressed concerns about the favoritism shown by the management towards the minority Austrian owner. This led to the unilateral dismissal of Hana Dellermann, who was in charge of Gysev's Austrian operations.
Rather than seeking a compromise, the Hungarian government has chosen to confront the Austrian side and create a stronger position for itself in the company.
Questions & Answers
What is the ownership structure of Gysev, the Hungarian-Austrian railway company? The Hungarian state has slightly less than a 66% stake, the Austrian state slightly more than 28%, and Strabag holds the remaining 6%.
Why does Hungary want to acquire the 6% share from Strabag? If Hungary acquires the 6% share from Strabag, it will have more than a two-thirds majority ownership, giving it more control over the company. Currently, the Hungarian and Austrian owners have a strained relationship, with the Hungarian side feeling that the Austrian owners are being favored. Acquiring the 6% share will leave the Austrian owners with little say in the running of the company.
What action did Construction and Transport Minister János Lázár take regarding Gysev's Austrian operations? Construction and Transport Minister János Lázár unilaterally dismissed Hana Dellermann, the head of Gysev's Austrian operations. This action was taken because the minister felt that the leaders of Gysev were favoring the minority Austrian owner rather than the majority Hungarian one.
What was the response from the Austrian side regarding the dismissal of Hana Dellermann? The Austrian side vehemently complained about the dismissal of Hana Dellermann.
How has the Hungarian government chosen to handle the situation with the Austrians? According to the source article, the Hungarian government has chosen not to seek a compromise but to fight the Austrians in acquiring the 6% share of Gysev.