Richest Hungarian Wants to Buy Parts of Agrokor

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Agrokor will have to sell its subsidiaries in order to repay its debts.

Sandor Csanyi, the richest Hungarian citizen, has met in recent days with government-appointed extraordinary commissioner of Agrokor Ante Ramljak, reports Jutarnji List on 7 August 2017.

According to Forbes, Csanyi is the first Hungarian billionaire. He has excellent political and business connections, and he is, together with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, with whom he has excellent relations, considered to be one of the most influential people in Hungary.

This businessman is best known as the largest shareholder and president of the large Hungarian financial group OTP, whose OTP Bank has a subsidiary in Croatia and has recently acquired Splitska Banka from the French company Societe Generale. In this way, it has become one of the leading players in the Croatian banking market. Csanyi is also very influential in Hungarian oil company MOL, where he has been a member of MOL’s board of directors for many years. MOL is a partial owner of Croatian oil company INA.

It should be noted that Csanyi was considered to be a very good personal friend of Agrokor owner Ivica Todorić.

Csanyi’s visit to Agrokor was just preliminary and, whatever plans he has, they certainly cannot be implemented until a permanent credit council in Agrokor is constituted. Only then will the transactions of substantial significance for the whole group be negotiated. Despite that, Csanyi has taken the opportunity to present his intentions to Ramljak and prepare the ground for possible major transactions.

One of Agrokor’s companies in which the Hungarian businessman is interested in is the agricultural group Belje. If he were to join Belje’s plots with his own facilities across the border in Hungary, Csanyi could probably become a person who controls the largest amount of agricultural land in the European Union, because at present he has about 35,000 hectares in Hungary. In other words, if Agrokor’s creditors were to sell Belje, Csanyi would be the first to submit his bid. At the meeting with Csanyi, Agrokor’s leaders also supposedly discussed possible business synergies between his production capacities and Agrokor, and in that context, PIK Vrbovec was mentioned.

In addition to the agricultural company, Csanyi is also interested in a beautiful villa in Medveja which is now owned by Agrokor. There is a growing trend among wealthy Hungarians of buying prestigious real estate on the Croatian coast.

Csanyi has also shown interest in the Aviva Polyclinic. This is surprising, just like the earlier decision of Ivica Todorić to buy the clinic.

Whatever happens, it is entirely possible that Csanyi will make more deals with Agrokor now when his “big friend” Todorić is no longer in charge, given that he was never inclined to sell any of his companies.

It will be interesting to see whether Csanyi’s investments will be politically acceptable to the Croatian authorities. His acquisition of Splitska Banka proceeded without any problems.

Translated from Jutarnji List.


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