Businessman winning state contracts watched football match with Viktor Orbán

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was watching Saturday’s football match from the VIP sector of Pancho Aréna, a football stadium in his hometown, in the company of a handful of people. According to the photos made by news site 444, only three people were with him: his father, one of his brothers, and a bald man who had not been spotted near the Prime Minister before.

This man is Gábor Szentgyörgyi, an IT entrepreneur, whose company, despite not even having a functioning website, has been winning lucrative state contracts in recent years.

During the match, Szentgyörgyi was sitting next to Győző Orbán Jr., one of the two brothers of the prime minister. As Direkt36 had reported, Szentgyörgyi and Orbán Győző Jr. have known each other for years.

They are connected through wrestling.

Győző Orbán Jr. had been a wrestler in his teenage years and returned to the sport in his 30s, even winning the European Championship in his age group. He has also been a prominent leader of the Hungarian wrestling scene: records show that he is the honorary president of a sport club, of which Gábor Szentgyörgyi is also a member. Orbán and Szentgyörgyi even went on a trip organized by the club, news reports and photos show.

Gábor Szentgyörgyi, second from the right. Photo: Tamas Botos/444

Neither Viktor Orbán’s office, nor Szentgyörgyi’s company, IMG Solution, responded to requests for comment. Several sources who know Szentgyörgyi personally confirmed to Direkt36 that he can be seen in 444’s photos.

IMG Solution, a company selling IT and office products, produced spectacular growth in just a few years. In 2012, its revenues were only 46 million forints (150 thousand euros), but in 2015, it made 4.7 billion forints (15.2 million euros), meaning that it grew by 100 times. The company, which does not even have a functioning website, managed to accomplish this after a series of victories in lucrative state tenders.

We can only do this work if we have supporters.
Become a supporting member now!

In general, it is decided in several rounds which companies can provide IT and office technology products to government agencies and other state institutions. First, the Procurement and Supply Directorate selects companies, often dozens of them, through a procurement. The directorate signs a framework contract with the selected companies. Then the individual state agencies can order products, like laptops or photocopy machines, exclusively from these companies. For example, if the National Tax Authority wants to buy new computers, it has to solicit offers from the companies in the framework contract and will choose one of them.

IMG Solution got its first framework contract in September 2013. It was a 44-billion-forint (142.8 million euros) framework contract for “computer systems and related services.” The company has become a participant of 8 similar framework contracts since then. Four of these were finalized last year, including an 80-billion-forint (260 million euros) contract for providing IT devices.

The Procurement and Supply Directorate did not respond to questions about the amount of revenue IMG Solution actually received through these framework contracts and the company did not answer these questions either.

As Direkt36 reported previously, in one case, a consortium of companies, including IMG Solution, won a major public tender of the National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) despite submitting the highest bid. The consortium’s offer was close to 1 billion forints (3.2 million euros) in the tender initiated by NAV to buy 2500 printers. Five other bidders entered the tender and all of them offered lower prices. Still, their offers were eliminated by NAV, which argued that they did not meet the technical conditions outlined in the tender documentation.

  • 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.