The Hungarian government is taking part in the purchase of Vodafone Hungary, Minister of Economic Development Márton Nagy announced on Monday.
At the same time, technology company 4iG announced on the Budapest Stock Exchange that it had entered into a non-binding agreement with Vodafone Europe BV, together with the Hungarian state, to acquire a 100% stake in the second largest telecommunications company in Hungary, Vodafone Hungary Telecommunications Zrt.
In his statement, Minister Nagy writes that the Orbán-led governments after 2010 have always maintained a goal of massively increasing the proportion of Hungarian ownership in sectors of national strategic importance, gaining a majority share if possible.
This goal has already been achieved in the banking, energy, and media sectors, according to the Minister, and there is now an opportunity for a Hungarian company backed by state ownership to become a serious player in the telecommunications market as well.
In order to achieve this, Minister Márton Nagy asked Corvinus Zrt. to purchase a 49% minority share in Vodafone Hungary Telecommunications Zrt. If the transaction goes through, 4iG will be the majority owner of Vodafone Hungary with a 51% share. As a first step, a preliminary, non-binding agreement was concluded between Corvinus Zrt., Vodafone Europe BV, and 4iG Nyrt.
The purchase price is 715 billion Ft. (US $1.74 billion).
The Minister has also determined that the transaction is of national strategic importance in the public interest, and has taken the necessary steps to classify it in this regard.
After the acquisition successfully closes, all the conditions will be met for the creation of a Hungarian, nationally-owned, market-leading company in the domestic telecommunications sector that will be able to meet the digital challenges of the 21st century and contribute to improving the country’s competitiveness, as well as provide outstanding, high-quality services to its nearly 4 million residential and corporate customers.
-the announcement states. [Magyar Narancs]