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Fotex ups stake in Domus to 69%

Fotex Rt, a Hungarian retailer turned real estate manager, raised its share in furniture chain Domus Rt to gain more control over the company's property. Fotex bought 11.5% in Domus for Ft 372.8 million ($1.76 million), bringing the total held by Fotex to 69.4%, Fotex said in a statement today. Fotex, owned by Hungary's fourth-richest man Gábor Várszegi, has turned to real estate after the European Union expanded into the region and opened the country to new competition, crippling earnings at Fotex. Domus, which competes with Ikea, has 26 furniture stores in Hungary. Fotex offered Dec. 12 to buy the shares it doesn't own in Domus for Ft 1,600 each. Shareholders agreed to sell 2% of the company's outstanding shares Jan. 31.