A Maze of Offshore Companies Win 12,5 billion HUF Government Tender

Atlatszo.hu has recently obtained and published data concerning the offshore companies that are in connection with the winners of the public tenders for the broadband network development in Hungary, who will be getting 12.5 billion forints for the task. The owners of these offshore companies all have connections to  Sándor Demján, leader of the Gránit empire, but some signs also point to, among others, a business partner of Tamás Leisztinger.

At the beginning of February Varánusz blog was the first to report on the five companies that won 12.5 billion forints in a 2012 public tender for the broadband network development with the total budget of 20 billion forints. The five companies were all founded and registered on the same day, on 27 June 2012 and 4 July 2012 respectively. The winners were Micronet Ltd., Pannon Optikai Hálózatfejlesztő Ltd., Pátria Optikai Hálózatfejlesztő Ltd., PONET Optikai Hálózatfejlesztő Ltd. and REGIO Optikai Hálózatfejlesztő Ltd.

The registered offices of the companies are the same as that of EnterNet 2001 Ltd. which is also the owner of PONET Ltd. and REGIO Ltd. Meanwhile the owner of  Micronet, Pátria and Pannon Optikai Hálózat Ltd., is connected to RubiCom Holding Ltd. RubiCom Holding is owned by 3 individuals, one of them is Otto Albrecht and his Seychelles-based company Palladino Enterprises. The three individuals are the owners of Cashline Investments Holding Ltd., founded in 1994 by Albrecht. The company became a shareholder of Synergon Informatikai Ltd. in 2007. The businessman was one of the biggest stakeholders of the Budapest Stock Exchange from the second half of 2003 until the May of 2004 when he sold the companies.

Business newspaper Világgazdaság Online inquired the National Development Agency (NDA) on the background of the winning companies. According to the NDA response the agency primarily investigated the companies that entered and only secondarily were they looking at the owners. The news site’s inquiry revealed that to be eligible to enter the tender the company only had to “exist”, there was no need for a closed fiscal year, there was no need for references, and in addition to this, it was sufficient if the number of employees at the company was only one. The registration of these new companies went through only 3 weeks before the deadline of the tender was changed from 31 July to 15 September. According to the NDA, the reason for the extension was the feedback they got from the potential applicants who informed the agency that they wouldn’t be able to prepare the projects in the given time-span. Almost 90% of the entries were submitted between the 13 and 15 of September ‒ the 5 winners were among them.

According to the Cyprus company details obtained by Atlatszo.hu, Mogul Consulting Co. Ltd. was founded in 2003 by Sándor Nyúl, and through the company previously he was among the owners of Enternet Invest. Currently he has direct interest in 14 different Hungarian companies. Mr. Nyúl is a business partner of Sándor Demján; besides Enternet Invest he is also sitting on the board on TriGránit Ltd., Gránit Bank, Tököl Airport Ltd. West End Ltd. and DAIS IT Ltd.; Mr. Nyúl is also the CEO of Granit Holding and Granit Invest. In 2008 he bought a share in Enternet Invest through Mogul Consulting. He is no longer the owner of Mogul Consulting, he has been since replaced by András Nyúl, Adrienn Bugovics and the Panama-based Musalo Foundation; the foundation has become the majority shareholder in the company.

Among the former shareholders of Enternet Invest there was also a Cyprus-based company named Ensen Holdings Ltd. owned by Péter Bauer. Mr. Bauer is also well-known in the social circles of Sándor Demján, he is one of the owners of EnterNet 2001 Llc. He has direct interests in 13 Hungarian companies, and is working as the CEO of Actel Távközlési Ltd. Among the board members of Actel there are 2 Cyprus citizens, Geogios Chari and Christos Limnatitis. Atlatszo.hu found that the same people are present in the management of Actel and Enternet Invest, eg. Limnatitis is a board member of Enternet, and Gerogios Koufaris who is on the supervisory board of Enternet Invest is also on the supervisory board of Actel.

Read the article in Hungarian here.

Translation by Kiki