Entrepreneur enriched by state tenders starts a new business on the Orbáns’ family land

A few hundred metres from the western border of Székesfehérvár, in an industrial area, there are four huge hangars. In mid-September, there wasn’t much activity on the recently cobbled yard of the site, but according to company documents and people familiar with the location, a plastics manufacturing and processing business is being set up here.

Entrepreneurs close to the Orbán-family are getting into business on properties owned by the prime minister’s family

On the specifically 1.3-hectare site, Energép Ltd., an energy and construction company is operating, which, since April this year, has included the production of various plastic products and waste recycling among its activities.

Energép is owned by three individuals, two of whom are closely linked to one of Viktor Orbán’s younger brothers, Győző Orbán Jr. One of the minority owners, Viktor Kovács, has family ties to the Prime Minister’s family: he’s Győző Orbán Jr’s son-in-law. The majority owner of the company is Gábor Szentgyörgyi, an entrepreneur whose IT group has been winning government contracts. Szentgyörgyi and Győző Orbán Jr. are linked by their love of wrestling, and they have even watched football together in Felcsút, a few steps away from Viktor Orbán.

The site where the hangars now stand has belonged to the Orbán family since 2015 (currently owned by the Prime Minister’s mother’s and Győző Orbán Jr.’s joint company, Hahót Tőzeg Ltd.). The two smaller properties next to the site were bought by Győző Orbán in 2018 and 2019.

Energép Ltd., based in a town called Szabadbattyán, first came to the area in 2019, when it opened a branch office on a larger property owned by Hahót Tőzeg Ltd., and then on two smaller estates of Győző Orbán Jr. (Companies tend to set up a branch office when they perform economic activity in a location further away from their headquarters.) According to company documents, Energép rents the land used as a branch from the owners.

We asked Szentgyörgyi and Győző Orbán Jr about the activity Energép is about to do, and how much it is paying for renting the properties of the Orbán-family, but they did not answer our questions.

Energép’s CEO and minority owner, László Polgár, told Direkt36 on phone that he did not know “where we get it from” that his company plans to engage in plastic production, but did not deny the information. When we pointed out that the company had recently expanded its activities with plastic production, he said that the company had a wide range of activities in addition to plastic production, including catering. “We might produce scones on the area as part of the catering activity,” he said. Energép’s activities do not include catering in its company documents though, but retail trade in bread, bakery and confectionery has indeed been listed since the company was founded in 2015.

The Energép branch office is not the first business link between Győző Orbán Jr. and Gábor Szentgyörgyi. Another company, indirectly owned by Szentgyörgyi, has opened a branch office in Zala County, also on the property of Hahót Tőzeg Kft., owned by the Orbán family. Szentgyörgyi’s company is allowed to operate this branch on the property “by way of a favour” which means free of charge.

Still rocking in the IT business

Energép, a new entrant in the plastics business, was founded in 2015 and currently has only four employees. Its annual turnover exceeded 100 million forints (approx. €262 thousand) in both 2019 and 2020, and it has not yet run for public tenders.

The most important of Gábor Szentgyörgyi’s companies is still IMG Solution Zrt., founded in 2009, which has been successful in several large public tenders in recent years: it has been a supplier to several universities, government agencies, hospitals and the National Tax Office (NAV) as well. (For a while, the department of priority public procurement at NAV was headed by a man who was a personal acquaintance of both Szentgyörgyi and Győző Orbán Jr.) Between 2013 and 2018, the company was involved in thirteen framework agreements worth tens of billions of forints (approx. €26 million), from which it received orders worth a total of 6.2 billion forints (€16 million).

IMG’s performance has picked up in parallel with its success in public tenders, with revenues of 166 million forints (€432 thousand) in 2013 and 9.4 billion forints (€24 million) in 2019. The company transformed from a limited liability company into a private limited company last year and generated a profit of 1.3 billion forints (€3.4 million) on a turnover of 10.4 billion forints (€27 million). It has continued to be successful in public procurement: since the beginning of 2019, it has gotten into eight more framework agreements worth tens of billions of forints, and has also won orders from the Hungarian National Railways (MÁV).

For the Hungarian company data we used the services of Opten.
Cover picture: János Murányi

  • Blanka Zöldi
  • András Pethő

    András is a co-founder, editor and executive director of Direkt36. Previously, he was a senior editor for leading Hungarian news site Origo before it had been transformed into the government’s propaganda outlet. He also worked for the BBC World Service in London and was a reporter at the investigative unit of The Washington Post. He has contributed to several international reporting projects, including The Panama Papers. He twice won the Soma Prize, the prestigious annual award dedicated to investigative journalism in Hungary. He was a World Press Institute fellow in 2008, a Humphrey fellow at the University of Maryland in 2012/13, and a Nieman fellow at Harvard University in 2019/20. András has taught journalism courses at Hungarian universities.