Hungary’s oil and gas company MOL is one of at least six companies submitting indicative offers by industry players and buyout funds for a group of beer brands being sold by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR), Reuters reported on November 8 citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. The brands, worth more than EUR 5 billion, have been put up for sale as part of AB InBevʼs USD 100 bln-plus takeover of SABMiller, which closed last month, Reuters recalled. First-round bids for the brands of the company, including Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic and Tyskie and Lech in Poland, were due on November 7, Reuters reported, citing sources wishing to stay anonymous due to the private nature of the deal.
As part of a major restructuring affecting more than 100 stores in the U.K. in response to shrinking profits, British multinational clothing, home products and luxury foods retailer Marks & Spencer is closing stores in ten foreign markets, including Hungary, news agency MTI reported on November 8. The retailer announced it will be focusing its international business on a franchise model in future, closing 53 stores across international markets, including ten stores in China, seven in France, and all its stores in Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, MTI added. The Hungarian unit of Marks & Spencer broke even on revenues of HUF 3.6 billion last year, public records show, according to MTI, adding that turnover was up from HUF 3.1 bln in 2014. U.K. newspaper reports noted that Marks & Spencer is shutting 30 U.K. stores as part of a major overhaul that will cut floor space devoted to its struggling clothing lines.
Shares of Hungarian energy supplier and trader Alteo traded at a little over their IPO price about an hour into their first trading day on October 7, according to Hungarian news agency MTI. The shares traded at HUF 4,680 at 9.50 a.m. that day, close to the HUF 4,630 issue price in an IPO that ended three weeks earlier. Alteo raised about HUF 1.4 billion through the IPO and private placement, a little less than half of what it had aimed for. Alteo sold 106,672 shares in the IPO and another 193,320 shares in the private placement.
Some 58,000 vehicles were sold by Czech car trader AAA Auto across its Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovakian markets in the first ten months of 2016, according to in-house data for sales across the network of more than 40 dealerships and outlets in the four countries, says the company. The average price of cars sold across the entire group was HUF 2,145,000, while in Hungary the average price was HUF 1,628,000, a press statement said. “Hungarian used car buyers clearly have very different preferences from AAA Auto customers across the rest of our sales network,” said CEO Karolína Topolová. “While much of this is obviously related to the domination of Opel and Suzuki manufacturing facilities in Hungary, versus Škoda in the Czech and Slovak markets, there are some common trends, making Fords and Volkswagens sound choices across the entire region, especially when backed up by market-leading services and value-adding offerings from AAA Auto,” she added. Some 12% of buyers prefer automatic transmission in the region, while in Hungary the figure is 10%, AAA Auto reported. At group level, 55% of AAA Auto’s customers prefer diesel to petrol, while in Hungary, 67% favor diesel.
Global professional services firm Accenture has opened a new Accenture Delivery Center for Technology in Budapest, its seventh such location in the CEE, aiming to deliver technology services to clients powered by the local pool of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal. Over the next two months, Accenture is planning to hire more than 150 people in the newly opened delivery center, the statement says, noting that currently a total of 6,000 people are employed by the firm in the region. Accenture serves clients across a range of industries through the Accenture Delivery Center for Technology, with a focus on the Austria-Switzerland-Germany region and CEE. “Our investment in Hungary and plans for future expansion reflect our continued commitment to better serve our clients, locally and globally, with our innovation-led approach and helping them in their digital transformation journey,” said Peter Škodný, managing director for Central and Eastern Europe at Accenture. “We are excited to recruit and grow top technology talent from Hungary and contribute to the economic growth and development of Hungary and the region,” the managing director added. “We are building teams with advanced skills in core and new technologies, and expertise in the most advanced delivery models, including agile delivery, continuous integration, DevOps and highly automated delivery processes, to help our clients rotate to New IT,” said Tomáš Volek, managing director of Accenture Global Delivery Network – Central and Eastern Europe. “The Accenture Delivery Center in Budapest provides our clients with access to the right mix of local and global resources, using state-of-the-art technologies, intelligent tools, artificial intelligence, lightweight architectures and industry assets,” he added.
U.K.-based low-cost airline easyJet’s first flight from Venice to Budapest touched down on November 3 at the capital’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport, according to the airline. Next year, easyJet plans to add Amsterdam to its destinations from Budapest. In keeping with its commitment to “fast-paced” expansion of Budapest flights, easyJet announced the launch of three new Budapest routes this year, the press statement said. By February, easyJet will be flying from Budapest to London Gatwick, Berlin, Paris, Lyon, Geneva, Basel, Venice and Amsterdam.
After reaching an agreement with workers’ unions on November 3, Magyar Telekom announced it will increase payroll costs by approximately HUF 2.4 billion next year, according to reports. MTel is reportedly not eyeing any layoffs. As of the beginning of next year, employee salaries will be raised by 5.5% at Magyar Telekom, while workers of MTel’s IT unit T-Systems Hungary will see wages rising by 3.1%, according to reports.
ITSH creating 360 more jobs here
Hungary’s foreign minister Péter Szijjártó discusses the latest HUF 4.6 billion investment of IT Services Hungary (ITSH) with Pécs Deputy Mayor László Őri and ITSH CEO Chris Wilson on November 3. The investment, which is being realized with support of a HUF 650 million grant from the Hungarian government, will affect ITSH’s bases in Szeged, Debrecen and Pécs, and is expected to create another 360 jobs. The company already employs 4,400 people in those three cities and in Budapest. The company says it will cooperate with several educational institutions in order to introduce students to new technologies. Photo: MTI/Zoltán Máthé