Friends of Orban

Companies connected to Lőrinc Mészáros won public tenders worth 280 million euros in July, either alone or as members of consortiums

Lőrinc Mészáros is undoubtedly the most successful businessman in Hungary: he became the second richest men in the country within a few years. His lucky streak continues: in July his companies won public tenders worth 280 million euros. His companies won these tenders either alone or as members of different consortiums.

Atlatszo is tracking the success of 10 businessmen and/or companies who have close ties to the Orban government. Every month we look at how many public tenders they win. Most of the income of these companies comes from public tenders, that is, taxpayer money.

According to the data the second most successful businessman in July was László Szíjj, a business partner of Lőrinc Mészáros. Szíjj and his companies won public tenders worth 201 million euros.

What kind of tenders did they win in July?

1. Lőrinc Mészáros

Prime minister Orbán’s friend owns a large and diverse web of companies. In July his companies won gas pipe reconstruction jobs and also won tenders for building flood protection structures. His media empire is earning money by running state-funded advertising.

He earns the biggest amount of money by taking part in railway reconstruction projects. His companies take part in two such projects, both parts of a consortium, and the total value of those two public tenders is 81.8 billion forints.

2. László Szíjj

Szíjj is the most important business partner of Mészáros. His companies won public tenders worth 201 million euros alone or as members of consortiums.

Szíjj owns a construction company, Duna Aszfalt and the company in July successfully made bids for (among other jobs) road construction near Lakitelek (50 billion forints), a sidewalk reconstruction in Szeged (140 million forints), bridge reconstruction in Szolnok (297 million) and water pipe reconstruction in Bács-Kiskun county (269 million forints).

Duna Aszfalt (as a member of a consortium) also won a framework contract for infrastructure development in the town of Szolnok. The value of the contract is 15 billion forints.

3. WHB

This construction company owned by Attila Paár is part of a consortium reconstructing a monastery in Majk. The other member of the consortium is Fejér-B.Á.L. Kft., owned by Lőrinc Mészáros’s children. The value of the project is 1.9 billion forints.

Átlátszó wrote about the Mészáros kids’ company last week.

WHB is also going to build a swimming pool in Szeged together with Dél-Konstrukt Zrt. for 12 billion forints.
The other companies on the list won much smaller tenders, which shows how distorted this ’market’ is. ZÁÉV is a construction company; Gyula Balássy has advertising agencies and Valton is the government’s favored private security company.

If you are interested in the details, you can see our spreadsheet tracking public tenders in 2018 here.

Written by Katalin Erdélyi

English version by Anita Kőműves

You can read the original, Hungarian language story here.

Company information was provided by Opten.

Cover photo: Szilárd Koszticsák – MTI