Mészáros-controlled firms Konzum and Opus to merge

Telco

Holding companies Konzum and Opus Global announced their planned merger in disclosures on the website of the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT) Thursday, state news wire MTI reported. Both are controlled by billionaire investor Lőrinc Mészáros, a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán whose wealth has soared since the present government came to power.

Lőrinc Mészáros (center), pictured earlier with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (right)

The merger could "open new ground for the implementation of the groupʼs plans for regional growth of a significant volume," the companies said. The management estimates the market capitalization of the future merged company will reach HUF 350-400 billion, while combined net assets will exceed HUF 320 bln. The merged companyʼs EBITDA is targeted at HUF 30 bln.

Konzumʼs board decided to work out a joint schedule with Opus on the timing of the merger. The first shareholdersʼ meeting to discuss the merger will take place on December 3, 2018, with the transaction expected to be closed on March 31, 2019.

A presentation posted along with the disclosures shows the merged company plans to start paying dividends on 2019 earnings.

The merger will help the company achieve a "critical scale," winning it greater international recognition, attracting global investors and resulting in its inclusion in equities indices, according to the presentation. It will also open doors to new financing opportunities, give the company higher liquidity, and create the conditions for more cost-efficient operation, it added.

The presentation shows the merged companyʼs annual revenues climbing over HUF 200 bln in 2019, more than double Konzumʼs and Opusʼs combined turnover of HUF 77 bln in the past twelve months.

Trade in the shares of Opus and Konzum - both of which are listed in the Equities Prime section of the BÉT - was suspended before the opening bell on Thursday pending the extraordinary announcement.

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