Suspicious solar power plant tender cancelled

The Hungarian National Development Agency (Nemzeti Fejlesztési Ügynökség, NFÜ), the government agency in charge of allocating the EU development funds in the country has granted 3 billion Hungarian forints (HUF) in July 2013 to private companies to build PV power plants in Somogy county in southwest Hungary. Átlátszó investigated those tenders where the direct investment subsidy was over 100 million HUF and found that the overwhelming majority of the winners were new companies without any background or related experience, and some of them can be linked to the National Development Agency, too.

At these round of KEOP tenders, which are mostly funded by EU regional and environmental development funds, 13 companies won over 100 million HUF each. Majority of these companies has been founded in the past 2 years. Most of the winning companies hardly had any activity before these KEOP tenders, nine out of the 13 had no revenues in the previous 2 years. Also most of them had zero employees, neither have a company website or email – in the company registries mostly gmail and yahoo emails can be found.

Some of these new companies, mostly with very low or zero turnover were: Napfaktor Kft., Fulmineus Kft., Solaris-Technology Kft., Trianghome Kft. and Magyar Naperőmű Kft.These companies together received over 1 billion HUF of direct investment subsidy from the NFÜ.
The following companies also had no revenue yet in the past years: Insolatio Kft., Renergy-Sol Hungary Kft. and Solar Building Hungary Kft. All three were founded in 2012, but it’s not the only similarity among them. Insolatio Kft and Renergy-Sol Hungary Kft. has the same owner (Lakatos Ákos László) and until end of last year, the general manager were the same: Szűcs Józsefné.  The former general manager also can be linked to the third company: the son and daughter of Szűcs Lászlóné are owners of Solar Building Hungary Kft. The three linked companies granted 700 million HUF of total investment subsidy at the tenders.
Among the winners we can also find Dr. Seregi János who used to be the business partner of Petykó Zoltán, the former head of NFÜ, who just left the agency few months ago. Seregi and Petykó’s relation goes back until the beginning of this century, they were both owners of a company, Breda 2000 Zrt. at that time. In 2005 this company was bought by Pro-Aurum Rt, considered to be a company related to Simicska Lajos. Seregi sold his share of the business then, however Petyko stayed as the general director of Breda 2000 Zrt. until 2010.

Seregi was heading the farming-lodging portfolio of the Hungarian Development Bank until 2012, and he was tendering at NFÜ with his family company, Agro Meeting Kft., which also had no revenue, nor employees in the past two years. His company received 211 million investment subsidy for a solar power plant at Balatonendréd.

Another winner at the tender can be also linked to NFÜ agency: Lékó and Partner lawyer office, joint owner of Forrás Klasztermenedzser Kft. also received 211 million HUF of direct investment subsidy for a PV plant. Lékó and Partner was legally representing NFÜ at a previous case, and another occasion they were hired to do the legal due diligence on another KEOP tender. Forrás Klasztermenedzser Kft. was founded in 2011, and had no turnover in that year, and the 2012 financial data is not yet available.

UPDATE: the day after this article was published, minister of state János Lázár suspended the suspicious tender

The original article was published on 23 September 2013, here (HU)
Company information and registry data was provided by Opten and ceginfo.hu.