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Pécs local council extends payment deadline for stake in Zsolnay

The local council of Pécs (SW Hungary) on Thursday decided to extend the deadline for Manufaktúra-Befektető to pay for a minority stake in the city's Zsolnay Porcelánmanufaktúra.

The deadline was extended by 54 days to May 24. Manufaktúra-Befektető amended its contract with the city's asset manager last June with the aim of pushing back the payment deadline to May 31, 2011.

Manufaktúra-Befektető said it had started paying the purchase price and a promised capital raise, but banks will not be able to transfer the amounts by the deadline at the end of March because the amount is "bigger than necessary".

Last June, Manufaktúra-Befektető, which is owned by Gellért Jászai, chairman of property developer SCD Group, bought a 49% stake, plus two voting preference shares, in Zsolnay, one of Hungary's most famous porcelain makers, for a price of HUF 230 million and a promise to inject a further HUF 500 million into the company. Jászai said he aimed to transform the 160-year-old factory into a modern, energy-efficient and better organized company within five years.