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Budapest reaches agreement to buy out foreign stake in waterworks

The Budapest City Council has reached an agreement to buy out the 25% plus one vote stake in the capital's waterworks held by the Hungarian units of France's Suez and Germany's RWE for HUF 15.1 billion, Mayor István Tarlós said in an interview with InfoRadio.

Tarlós said the local council would take a final decision on the matter at a meeting on Monday. He added that the price of repurchase was less than the management fees Suez and RWE would otherwise be entitled to over the next ten years.

The City Council sold the stake in 1997 to a consortium of Lyonnaise des Eaux SA and RWE Aqua GmbH for HUF 16.5 billion.

The Budapest local council mandated Tarlós to cancel the city's waterworks contract with Suez and RWE at the end of February.

"We don't want to cause any foreign affairs complication," Tarlós said at the time. He added that the most desirable solution would be to successfully reach an agreement on the matter.