Hungarian-owned Manevi Zrt. acquired popular holiday resorts in Transylvania
This spring, the Hungarian government donated the formerly state-owned Manevi Zrt. to the newly incorporated Foundation for Preserving Built Heritage in Central Europe (Közép-európai Épített Örökség Megőrző Alapítvány) which is filled with people close to the government. The company has already bought several properties in Romania, and this summer its Romanian subsidiary, set up in April, also acquired some real estate. Last week, we found a hotel in Oradea under the company’s name, and now we’ve discovered that Romanian Manevi subsidiary Manevi Pro Transilvania has acquired two tourist properties near the popular tourist attraction of Red Lake (Gyilkos-tó).
According to Wikipedia, Red Lake (in Romanian: Lacul Roșu) is a natural peat lake in the Onion Mountains in the Eastern Carpathians in Harghita County, Transylvania. It was formed in 1837 by debris sliding down from nearby rock, blocking the path of several streams. The original name of the lake is Lake Veres, which is also the translation of its Romanian name, because the colour of the water is reddish due to the iron-containing alluvium in one of the streams. It was named after the mountain or because, according to legend, the debris that fell into the valley buried the shepherds who were grazing here, and their blood stained the water red. The streams that flow into the lake gradually fill it up with sediment, reducing its size from 320,000 to around 110,000 square metres.
The lake, at an altitude of almost 1,000 metres above sea level, is a popular destination for hikers, with its spectacular peaks and the tree trunks that rise above/around it.
The lake and its surroundings are administratively part of Gheorgheni, and a resort with restaurants and hotels has been built along the road to the Becas Gorge for tourists.
In the summer of 2021, Manevi Pro Transilvania s.r.l., the Romanian subsidiary of Manevi Zrt., bought two hotels near the Killer Lake.
On 23 July 2021, the Manevi company became the owner of the Hotel Turist, according to the Romanian land registry. The 3-star hotel is located about 1 km from Red Lake and offers nearly 50 rooms. Photos of the hotel’s interior can be seen on the hotel’s Facebook page: it has a restaurant, swimming pool and a gym.
On 23 July 2021, another nearby property, Villa Sunshine (Vila Raza Soarelui), was also acquired by Manevi Pro Transilvania s.r.l. In an older description, it is mentioned as a guesthouse for 80 people, but has been closed for some time. Incidentally, Google knows it as Sunbeam Resort/Complex, and although unfortunately it doesn’t have a street view, a user-uploaded photo gives us a look.
Seven properties in Romania
As we have reported in several previous articles, Manevi Zrt., once state-owned but donated this spring to the Foundation for Preserving Built Heritage in Central Europe, which was stuffed with people close to the government, has bought several foreign properties over the years, directly or indirectly.
The acquisitions began in 2017, when Manevi bought the Romanian company Dacia SA, which owns the Pannonia Hotel in Satu Mare. Since then, Manevi Zrt. has also bought the Wesselényi Castle in Zsibo, the Korona Hotel in Maramures, and a monument in Nagykároly.
Recently, its Romanian subsidiary Manevi Pro Transilvania, incorporated in April 2021, bought the Park Hotel in Oradea in the summer of 2021. Add to this the two hotels on the Red Lake, and as far as we know, the Romanian subsidiary of Manevi Zrt. owns 3 properties.
Hungarian-owned company claims it has no real estate abroad, although it bought valuable buildings in two countries
Manevi Zrt, formerly owned by the Hungarian state, was donated by the government to the Foundation for Preserving Built Heritage in Central Europe (Közép-európai Épített Örökség Megőrző Alapítvány) this year. The company, as well as its Slovak and Romanian subsidiaries, have bought several buildings abroad in recent years, for example a castle in Romania, a monument in Croatia and a monastery in Slovakia.
According to an entry in the Romanian company register in mid-November 2021, Manevi Pro Transilvania owns 28.6 million lei (approximately HUF 2.1 billion) worth of real estate.
This does not necessarily mean, of course, that this is the total value of the hotel in Oradea and the two hotels near Red Lake. Based on Manevi’s practice so far, it is also possible that they have bought something else that has not yet been announced and has not yet been found by the press.
Translated by Zita Szopkó. The original, Hungarian version of this article was written by Katalin Erdélyi and can be found here. The article was written in the framework of a joint project of Átlátszó and Átlátszó Transylvania, with the support of News Spectrum.
Cover photo: Hotel Turist and Villa Sunshine at Red Lake.
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