Running in the family

Minister’s new wife and her family granted HUF 1.6 billion loan by a state bank for farmland purchase

Barbara Obrusánszki, the new wife of Antal Rogán, Minister of Orbán’s Cabinet Office and her parents signed a contract in November, a few months before the wedding and thus, purchased 1,022 hectares of farmland along with two other people. The predominant part of the acquisiton was covered by a 1.58 billion HUF loan from the gov’t-controlled Budapest Bank. In autumn, the same bank also provided a 315 million HUF loan to a company which could be linked to Mrs Rogán’s father.

Izabella Barna, one of the sellers has told us that until now, she had no idea that Barbara Obrusánszki is the new wife of  Antal Rogán, the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office.

The above mentioned land purchase took place at the end of 2020, 1,022 hectares of land and the real estate on the territory were sold to five buyers for 1.665 billion HUF. Three people from the five are members of the Obrusánszki family, which refers to Barbara and her parents. The sellers and the buyers are also connected to Eastern-Hungary. We also heard that Barbara Obrusánszki’s father has recently mentioned that his daughter will marry someone influential.

The fact that Antal Rogán has a new, third wife has been a secret since this week, and it was only revealed to the public on 31 January at night, when all the politicians submitted their annual asset declaration in which the minister indicated that he is married again.

However, the most interesting part of the story is that the buyers were only able to pay 83 million HUF from the total price, the remaining amount, i.e almost 1.6 billion, is financed by Budapest Bank Zrt. In autumn, the same bank – which is one of the three state-owned banks in Hungary – has also provided a 315 million HUF loan to Ductus Kft., which can be linked to Barbara’s father, Zsolt Obrusánszki.

Who got the land?

The contract about the purchase of 1,022 hectares of land located in Borsod county was signed on 20 November.  According to the information of Blikk, the couple got married soon after the conclusion of the contract, in December. 

Each of the buyers are registered as a farmer, and as a locally-registered resident, they also have the right of pre-emption over certain areas. Interestingly, according to the contract, all three Obrusánszki became registered as farmers shortly before the acquisition: on 14 August.

In Hungary, we usually talk about large estates when they are over 300 hectares, but the size of this land far exceeds this number. At the same time, the lands do not form a homogeneous unit. The contract lists properties registered under approximately 209 different topographical numbers in the areas of Dédestapolcsány, Nekézseny, Kisgyőr, Tardona, Borsodbóta, Csokvaomány, Csernely, Lénárddaróc and Sáta and includes several Natura 2000 areas and buildings.

The three sellers are currently living in the USA. According to the sales contract, the buyers will both own 1/5-1/5 from the 1,022 acres property. Apart from the three members of the Obrusánszki family, the two other buyers are Zsigmond Farkas and Szilvia Mageráné Mező. Farkas can be also linked to the Obrusánszki family: his address in Nyíregyháza serves as a residence for Zsoltné Obrusánszki and her daughter, Barbara. Zsigmond Farkas previously appeared in a story of because he was member of a company, which has won more than 100 million HUF public procurements between 2014-2015 under questionable circumstances.

Until last January, Szilvia Mageráné Mező was connected to Caballus Nonprofit Public Benefit Ltd. in Nyíregyháza, which was able to purchase assets worth HUF 16 million in 2015 with LEADER programme designed for rural development. In 2019, it received HUF 37 million to develop family-friendly accomodations from the Kisfaludy Program which supports domestic tourism developments under the aegis of the Hungarian Tourist Agency.

The father’s company also received a bank loan

Ductus Kft., a company owned by Barbara’s father, Zsolt Obrusánszki and Zsigmond Farkas also received a bank loan of 315 million HUF from Budapest Bank. In August last year Obrusánszki and Farkas bought 1/4-1/4 share from the former sole owner of the agricultural advisory company, Ibolya Hernáczki, the loan was granted after their purchase.

On Wednesday we called Hernáczki, but first her college picked up the phone saying that she is not available at the moment. Later we could finally manage to talk to the company manager when we mentioned the name of minister Antal Rogán. She stated that she didn’t know anything about the above mentioned relations. She also added that she and the two new co-owners have known each other for a long time, and that she has been interested in the loan even when she was the sole owner of the company. On the other hand, Ductus has only received the bank loan after taking in the new business partners. She didn’t want to reveal what are the plans concerning the use of the loan, which could be a significant milestone in the company’s life, as according to its latest report filed in 2019, Ductus had a turnover of 29 million HUF in a year.

Cherchez la femme

There is not much information that we could find about the third wife of Antal Rogán, Barbara Obrusánszki, in spite of the fact that the previous marriage of the minister responsible for government communication got a lot of publicity.

Last year there were some photos available on social media about the mysterious woman, but now all of them disappeared: in one of those cases an attorney acting on behalf of Antal Rogán was involved.

However, we managed to find out that someone with the same name has graduated from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in 2016, and finished her high school studies in Kazincbarcika, a north-Hungarian city 24 km from Miskolc. She participated in several beauty pageants and according to a Croatian newspaper, was also working as a model. She is 20 years younger than the minister.

We tried to get in contact with the minister and the new wife’s father, Zsolt Obrusánszki, but we didn’t receive any reaction to our questions.

Translated by Zita Szopkó. The original Hungarian version of the article was written by Márton Sarkadi Nagy and Zsuzsa Zimre, and can be found here.

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