Last Tuesday the portal reported that a security firm which was owned by Interior Minister Sándor Pintér until last year's general elections has gotten state contracts worth billions of forints. Civil Biztonsági Szolgálat (CBSZ) - having applied together with other firms - has signed a Ft 553 million (over €2 million) contract with baths operator Budapest Gyógyfürdői és Hévizei Zrt. (BGYH), while an agreement with the National Asset Manager (MNV) valid until 2014 may bring revenues of up to Ft 4.3 billion. CBSZ won the public procurement tender for the security services for baths despite not offering the cheapest service, and got to sign the agreement with the MNV despite offering the most expensive service. Regarding the contract with the baths, the BGYH told origo that the reason three companies which offered a lower price than Pintér's former firm were barred from the tender was that they could not give an explanation for their "abnormally low net fees." Pintér sold CBSZ for Ft 1.8 billion to a company called Prostasia Zrt. in April 2010. This company was founded in January of that year. It is owned by one Tibor Kántor, one of the owners of another small company, Occulto and 2006 Kft.
Two days before publishing the piece on Pintér, the portal let loose with a sprawling investigative report probing the background of a company group, E-OS Innovatív Energetikai Zrt., which recently won several energy contracts financed from public money. E-OS signed its first big government contract - for a solar power plant in Újszilvás, Pest County - in April 2011, then inked another in April and two more in May for energy modernization projects in Csongrád County and Budaörs, and for operating public lighting in Szolnok. According to the portal, E-OS is among the interests of Közgép, a powerful construction company said to have connections to the current government. Közgép bought the majority ownership of the E-OS group's member involved in electricity trade in November 2010. Since this June, the president of Közgép has been Zsolt Nyerges. A lawyer from Szolnok, Nyerges had been a member of the directorate of Dunaferr, one of the most important state companies, during the first government of Viktor Orbán. The first member of the E-OS group, E-OS Energiakereskedő, was founded by a company called ARNO '99, owned by Nyerges, in the fall of 2006. In December 2008, Csaba Baji became head of E-OS. The CEO of the Paks Nuclear Plant during the first Orbán government, Baji is still one of the most important figures in the Hungarian energy sector, having been appointed as head of the Hungarian Electric Works (MVM) - owner of the Paks Nuclear Plant - after last year's government change. His connection to Nyerges is that he was a member of the board of supervisors in Szolnok-based Axon Vagyonkezelő Rt. (Axon Asset Manager) - which similarly is said to have had connections to Fidesz at the end of the 1990s - and Nyerges also had dealings with the company. Meanwhile, the portal claims to have uncovered concrete evidence of close business relations between Nyerges and Simicska, former economic director of Fidesz, involving several Swiss companies. Before Közgép gained ownership in E-OS in November 2010, E-OS was owned by a Swiss company led by Walter Hediger called Energy Swiss Invest. The Swiss company later sold the shares to Közgép for only Ft 50 million, indicating the Swiss company had been a "formal" owner only. One of the portal's sources said the purpose of the Swiss company's appearance was to eliminate Nyerges' ARNO '99, so that "the company did not appear to be close to Fidesz." Meanwhile, Nyerges is one of the owners and Hediger managing director of another firm called Basis Invest GmbH, which based on Zollikon, and whose other shareholders includes Simicska. The portal noted that all of the above information was collected from individuals knowledgeable about the situation who did not wish to reveal their names. Nyerges, Simicska and E-OS did not answer the portal's questions.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 July 2011 09:02