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Govt plans to renationalize Budapest Airport, Heti Válasz reports

Hungary's government is very likely to try to renationalize the Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest by July or August in a manner to "conform to the market" , news weekly Heti Válasz said in its online edition on Wednesday, without citing any sources.

The paper said that Spain's Grupo ACS is expected to boost its stake in Germany's Hochtief, which owns the airport's operator Budapest Airport, to over 50% by July. According to reports, Grupo ACS plans to sell Hochtief's airport assets.

Grupo ACS CEO Florentino Perez, who is also president of football club Real Madrid, announced half a year earlier his intent to start a sports school in Hungary in partnership with the Puskás Ferenc Football Academy, which was founded by Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Heti Válasz said.

The airport, until recently named Ferihegy, was privatized in 2005. The UK's BAA paid HUF 465 billion and pledged to invest another €260.6 million at the airport by 2011. BAA was acquired by Spain's Ferrovial in 2006 and Budapest Airport was sold to Hochtief for €1.9 billion in 2007.