PM Viktor Orbán’s daughter buys 34 hectares of vineyards, previously owned by her mother

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s family and the vineyards of Sárazsadány have a long history together. Once upon a time Orbán’s wife Anikó Lévai bought vineyards in the Tokaj wine region, and now his daughter Ráhel has decided to purchase vineyards in the same area. Atlatszo found out that she is now buying some of the same lands that her mother once acquired and then passed on after the first scandal surrounding the Orbán family’s wealth accumulation broke out nearly 20 years ago.

In Sárazsadány, 34 hectares of vineyards, pastures, and orchards change hands. The location is Tokaj-Hegyalja, which is a historical wine region located in northeastern Hungary. The buyer is Ráhel Orbán, the eldest child of the Prime Minister. The total purchase price of the properties, which have 48 different parcel numbers, is HUF 273 million.

The land is subject to a HUF 540 million mortgage to Abraham Goldmann Bizalmi Vagyonkezelő Zrt., but the mortgage cancellation permit has already been deposited. The land is mortgaged for a further HUF 260 million by Takarékbank Zrt., which the seller is contractually obliged to pay by 31 March 2025.

The contract also shows that the majority of the land is leased to Patricius Borház Zrt. until 2040, or until 2041, with a rent of HUF 30,000 per year for some of the lands, which are partly located in Natura 2000 protected areas.

Source: National Environmental Information System (OKIR)

Relatives, friends, and business associates of the Prime Minister

Beyond the dry facts, almost every participant in this story is interesting. The seller, Andrea Erzsébet Kántor, is the former managing director and co-owner of Szárhegy Dűlő-Sárazsadány-Tokajhegyalja Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. (Szárhegy Kft.). This company was once partly owned by Anikó Lévai (Viktor Orbán’s wife) and was made famous by a series of investigative reports published in Élet és Irodalom weekly paper almost 20 years ago.

The company filed a lawsuit against the newspaper because of the stories, which Élet és Irodalom won in the first instance and lost in the second instance, but the stories led to a parliamentary investigative committee being set up to examine the accumulation of wealth of the family of the then former PM.

The 2005 report of the parliamentary committee investigated the Orbán family’s enrichment from state resources, which was set up during the socialist government following the fall of the first Orbán government (1998-2002), reveals interesting connections between the parcel numbers of the Lévai properties in Sárazsadány, and the purchase contract of Ráhel Orbán. Some parcel numbers – Sárazsadány 1170, 1166/2, 1236 – are mentioned in both, for example.

We randomly requested two title deeds. In both cases, we found that the properties were acquired by Anikó Lévai in 1997 and 2001, and then she sold them to Dezső Kékessy, in 2009, after the enrichment scandal.

Recently deceased former Hungarian ambassador in Paris, Dezső Kékessy was also among the owners of Szárhegy Kft. too, according to company records. In addition to Anikó Lévai and Dezső Kékessy, companies Abraham Goldmann Bizalmi Vagyonkezelő Zrt. and Patricius Borház Zrt. have also owned the company over the past 20 years. From Kékessy, before his death the Sárazsadány properties were transferred to Andrea Erzsébet Kántor in 2022, who is now selling them to Ráhel Orbán.

The identity of the actual owners is hidden behind a trust

Szárhegy Kft. has since been merged into Patricius Borház Zrt. In 2021, Patricius Borház Zrt. was formed from Patricius Borház Kft., and in early 2023, it was merged with Arany Dűlők Kft., Szárhegy Kft. and Patricius Hotel Kft., all of which were previously owned by Abraham Goldmann Bizalmi Vagyonkezelő Zrt., which is a trust asset management company.

A trust is a legal relationship whereby the owner of property transfers his property to a trustee for the purpose of managing, preserving, enhancing, or distributing it to a specific beneficiary or group of beneficiaries. In the Anglo-Saxon system, wealthy families and individuals often make use of the trust. No public information is available on the owners of the assets managed by Abraham Goldmann Bizalmi Vagyonkezelő Zrt.

The sole shareholder of Patrícius Borház Zrt. was also Abraham Goldmann Bizalmi Vagyonkezelő Zrt., and in March 2023 the company was acquired by BDSPT Zrt., which is owned by István Tiborcz, husband of Ráhel Orbán.

Atlatszo infographic

To sum up, Ráhel Orbán is buying 34 hectares of vineyards in the Tokaj wine region, at least some of which were previously owned by her mother and are now leased by a company owned by her husband.

Translated by Zita Szopkó. The original, more detailed Hungarian version of this story was written by Zsuzsa Zimre and Tamás Bodoky and can be found here.  Cover photo: Sárazsadány, 2 October 2004. The “Orbán vine” in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, on the outskirts of Sárazsadány. Photo by MTI, János Vajda.