Media Authority favours Fidesz-leaning subcontractors

The National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) published its contracts from the first quarter of 2013 worth over 5 million forints on the 18th of June. Companies owned by the current minister of interior, Sándor Pintér have faired well again, but the companies of Károly Fonyó and Lajos Simicska can’t complain, either – altogether, the NMHH purchases goods and services from them for around 430 million Hungarian forints.

For example, Erando Kft. will improve the security of the NMHH’s properties for 106 million HUF. The company was awarded contracts  from the state and local councils, and may have had a high chance of winning a tender for the stadium entrance systems as well. In 2005 the Civil Biztonsági Részvénytársaság (Civilian Security Private Limited Company), then owned by Sándor Pintér, the current minister of interior, became the majority owner the Erando Biztonságtechnikai (Erando Security) Kft. The Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) joined Civil with 80 million HUF of stock in 2004, two years after the fall of the first Orbán-government; the purchase of Erando happened in this period as well.

A couple of years later, Pintér first said goodbye to the MFB, basically becoming the sole owner, then in 2010, about three months before the new government came into power, sold Civil Zrt., for a sum that is not exactly known, but is estimated to be a big part of the 1.8 billion he received for the sale of his companies that year. The sale of this company, by the way, is one of the funniest stories of post-transition Hungary. The buyer was Prostasia Zrt., founded two months earlier, its seat: on the top floor of a ten-storey block of flats in the Békásmegyer suburbs, its share capital: five million. The new owner, Tibor Kántor had neither any considerable business experience, nor the funds for an acquisition of this magnitude. However, the company’s auditor was Status Audit Zrt., the presence of which generally points to the presence of Lajos Simicska. Also, Kántor was the vice president of the Hungarian tax authority APEH under the leadership of Simicska.

According to Opten company database, after the government change of 2010, Erando’s results increased two-fold by 2011, while its taxed results went from 10 million up to 135 million HUF. Civil Zrt. received its current contract: in the next 10 months it will provide security services at the NMHH’s properties for 110 million HUF. Properties maintained by B+N Referencia Zrt. (for 109 million), and cleaned by the same company (for a further 109 million). B+N is owned by Mundus Invest Zrt., the majority owner of which, Károly Fonyó, is also the manager of Mahír Cityposter Kft. (auditor: Status Audit). Founded in summer 2011, B+N is unstoppable on the (for national security reasons, restricted) procurements.

The winner of the NMHH’s 2012 communications tender was Péter Patonai and his I.M.G. Kft., organizing, for almost 2 billion HUF, the communications campaign of the National Digital Switchover Program (Országos Digitális Átállás Program). This year, the programme brings an income of billions to someone else; the procurement with a net worth of 2.3 billion was won by DigitalRadio Kft. –  that, in 2011, only had a result of around 40 million HUF.

Where there’s a publicly funded communications campaign, the name of the government’s favoured Bell and Partners Kft. is likely to show up. The company owned by the Viszkei family worked its way from a result of 140 million in 2009 to 1.5 billion in 2011, though this year the NMHH only added a modest, 60 million HUF worth tender, to this sum.

At last, for completion’s sake, let’s mention EURO ONE Zrt., winning a total of 90 million in tenders. One of the leaders of thus company is Gergely Gulyás Kovács, whose career started as the main political advisor of the first Orbán-government, indeed, the company itself is not the enemy of the governing party: they are a recurring supporter of the Fidesz-leaning Open University of Bálványos.

This text was originally published in Hungarian on 27 June 2013. The text was translated by atlatszo.hu volunteers.