French food services firm Sodexo said on Monday that Hungary has been ordered to pay it some EUR 73 million, before interest, in the wake of regulatory changes affecting the countryʼs food voucher system. Hungary introduced a unified national voucher system in 2012, effectively squeezing out existing market players.
Sodexo filed a claim for arbitration with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against the state of Hungary in July 2014. The state has 120 days to appeal the ICSID decision, which was taken on January 28, 2019.
ICSID already ordered the Hungarian state to pay EUR 23 mln to another French voucher company, Edenred, in December 2016, and a further EUR 23 mln to Le Chèque Déjeuner in October last year.
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in 2016 that some aspects of Hungaryʼs unified voucher system are incompatible with EU law.