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Rác Bath to be sold in open tender, says liquidator

The historic Rác Thermal Bath in Budapest will be sold in an open tender, according to Sándor Börcsök, the liquidator of the companies that renovated the historic Turkish and Imperial-era baths, Tuesdayʼs issue of business daily Világgazdaság reported.

Creditors have filed claims for close to HUF 10.6 billion against Rác Beruházó Kft, one of the developers that renovated the baths, notes Világgazdaság. The deadline for filing for claims from Rác Nosztalgia, the other partner in the approximately HUF 9 bln renovation project, has not yet passed.

The report noted that the bathʼs developers were declared companies of "special strategic importance" by the government last year, which allows the possibility of a closed sale of their assets. However, a closed sale would require the meeting of strict conditions, which have not been met at this point in the liquidation procedure, said Börcsök, who told Világgazdaság that the property will thus be advertised through an open tender.

The liquidation procedures were initiated by the Budapest Municipal Council, which earlier bought - at a discount - a HUF 7 bln loan the developers took out from the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB).

The liquidation of Rác Beruházó was ordered at the end of July, and that of Rác Nosztalgia in December. The fate of both firms involved in the rebuilding of the Rác bath and hotel complex thus now rests in the hands of state-owned liquidator Nemzeti Reorganizációs Nonprofit Kft, as does the decision as to whether to put the complex up for sale in an open or closed tender.

Previously, on September 28, 2012, the Budapest-Capital Regional Court ordered bankruptcy proceedings against Rác Nosztalgia after the company had accumulated more than HUF 7 bln in debts to three other companies, prompting the MFB to annul its credit contract with the firm.

The renovation of the Rác Bath was carried out from 2002 to 2010, but the facility has still not reopened to the public.