Company of Orbán’s son-in-law moved into a luxury villa owned by influential businessmen

Forrás: 7/24 Hírműsor

CD Hungary, a real estate company specialized in selling and renting luxury properties, posted a boastful message on Facebook about one of its villas in February 2017.

“The refurbishing of our villa in Kelenhegyi Street 27 is going well. We are modernizing the building and, at the same time, we are trying keep its old values and atmosphere,” wrote the company, adding that they even rebuilt an old fireplace.

It is Istvan Tiborcz, the husband of prime minister Viktor Orbán’s oldest daughter, who will be able to enjoy the comfort of the rebuilt villa. His real estate company BDPST Zrt. recently decided to move its offices to the building in Kelenhegyi Street, one of the most expensive areas of Budapest.

The villa is hidden behind trees and a high fence

The move appears to be another sign of the increasingly close relationship between members of the Orbán family and Hungary’s business elite. The villa is owned by a company of three prominent businessmen: István Garancsi, a construction entrepreneur and owner of a major football club, Zsolt Hernádi, the CEO of oil company Mol, and Sándor Csányi, the country’s wealthiest person, known mostly for leading OTP, the country’s biggest bank.

The three men often appear at football matches in the company of the prime minister, an avid football fan. Garancsi and Hernádi once even went on a hiking tour with Orbán.

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Neither BDPST, nor CD Hungary responded to our questions.

Tiborcz, 32, began his business career with an energy company that received several lucrative public contracts under controversial circumstances. Most of the projects were funded by the European Union, and the EU’s anti-fraud unit “revealed not only serious irregularities in most of the projects, but also conflict of interest.”

Tiborcz recently became the majority owner of BDPST Zrt., a fast-growing real estate company after purchasing shares from one of his long-time business partners, company records show. Tiborcz now owns at least 75 percent of the company.

BDPST has reportedly acquired several high-value properties since its foundation in 2015. According to press reports, the company owns buildings in Budapest’s most prominent areas and also a historic castle outside the capital.

According to its latest annual report, BDPST has more than 5 billion forints (15.6 million euros) in assets and its net profit last year was 4.1 billion forints (12.8 million euros).

  • 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.