Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that the government intends to buy back Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport.
If reacquired by the state, the airport would undergo significant developments that would increase its value, and the overall value to the region.
Orbán said, “It is only right if our sole major international airport is in Hungarian ownership, so buying it back is the correct thing to do and the economy is strong enough for us to do that,” adding that the purchase “could be concluded at any moment”.
Local reports have estimated the bid to be in the region of €4bn (US$4.6bn).
Budapest Airport is majority owned by Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board, which reportedly holds a 55% stake through its German-based airport investor AviAlliance.
Commenting on the approach, a spokesperson for AviAlliance said, “A consortium led by the Hungarian government has announced its intention to acquire Budapest Airport. The consortium has submitted a revised non-binding offer to the shareholders of Budapest Airport. The shareholders did not initiate the purchase offer. In the interest of our fellow shareholders, we are nevertheless obliged to review the offer.
“AviAlliance is a long-term oriented investor whose interest is the sustainable development of the airport and the region. Like all European airports, Budapest Airport was severely affected by Covid-19. Nevertheless, we continued our investments in the airport’s infrastructure and operations during the pandemic as we believe in its rapid economic recovery and long-term growth potential.”