Gov’t exempts Főgáz acquisition from GVH scrunity

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The Hungarian government declared its acquisition of 49.8% of the shares of Budapest gas distributor Főgáz via state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) from state-owned Hungarian Electricity Work's (MVM) as being “strategically important for the national economy”, so the sale is exempt from review by the Competition Office (GVH).

The government resolution was published in yesterday’s edition of official gazette Magyar Közlöny. The motion exempted the acquisition of all Főgáz shares by MFB from competition office scrutiny as the government had granted a similar status to the acquisiton of the 50% plus one vote stake of National Asset Management Company (MNV) by MFB, in a resolution earlier this week.

Under a resolution passed by Parliament, MFB will acquire 51% plus one vote of shares in Budapest gas distributor Főgáz from its current owner, the National Asset Management Company (MNV).

The same resolution mandated the sale of state-owned Hungarian Electricity Work's MVM's 49.8% stake in Főgáz to MFB by December 31, 2014. The sale, to MFB and its investment unit MFB Invest, was approved at an MVM shareholders' meeting last Friday.

Főgáz is set to become the foundation for a state-run, non-profit public utility holding company to be set up next spring according to a government resolution passed on September 30. The new public utility is to operate as part of the recently revamped MFB group. The new public utility holding company will initially distribute power, gas, and district heating, and will handle the water supply, sewage, and garbage collection at a later date, Minister of the Prime Minister's Office János Lázárr said late September.

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