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Lőrinc Mészáros is the new tender champion

Lőrinc Mészáros is the new tender champion

The gas fitter from Felcsút took the lead in TI Hungary’s interactive database based on public procurement data  

Lőrinc Mészáros topped Transparency International (TI) Hungary’s Tender Champions interactive database based on public procurement data. The gas fitter from Felcsút won the highest amount of money in public procurement in the period 2019-2021. The previous winner, László Szíjj could not be disappointed either: the construction magnate, who hosted Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on a yacht cruise in the Adriatic back in 2020, won tenders worth hundreds of billions of forints, and with this result he came second on the podium. The bronze medal went to Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, often referred to as the “Mészáros of cleaning services”.  

In May 2023, TI Hungary presented the first results of the interactive database ‘Tender Champions’. In the first analysis of the Tender Champions, we found that between 2018 and 2020, László Szíjj László won nearly HUF 914 billion through his companies, while Lőrinc Mészáros won HUF 633 billion in public procurements over the same three years. Now the tables have turned. Meanwhile, TI Hungary added the latest data on the companies and their owners that won public contracts to the Tender Champions database.  

István Tiborcz’s business partner has also made it into the TOP5 

After updating the database, a new Tender Champion was unveiled: Lőrinc Mészáros took the lead from László Szíjj, whose companies were able to win procurements in a worth of nearly HUF 1141 billion in the period of 2019-2021. However, László Szíjj of Tiszakécske has nothing to be sad about either, as the oligarch’s companies earned nearly HUF 842 billion over the same period. In total, Lőrinc Mészáros’ interests won 8.9 percent of public procurement contracts, while László Szíjjj’s companies won 6.6 percent in three years.  

Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, also known in the press as the “court sweeper”, came in third place with a public procurement result of almost HUF 585 billion. The businessman, who is typically associated with the Habony-Rogan circle, is present in the public procurements market with three service companies, the most significant of which is B + N Referencia Ltd.  

This time, Gyula Balásy, who slipped off the podium, won public contracts worth HUF 295 billion  mostly from the National Communications Authority, which awarded more than 300 contracts to his three companies Lounge Design, New Land and Media Dynamics.   

In fifth place are the companies of István Tiborcz’s former business partner Attila Paár, with 282 billion forints. Its most significant interests, West Hungária Bau Ltd. and Magyar Építő LLc., together won public contracts worth some HUF 265 billion over three years. 

László Szíjj’s Duna Aszfalt still tops the company ranking 

László Szíjj’s construction company, Duna Aszfalt Út és Mélyépítő LLc., retained its leading position in terms of the public procurement performance of individual companies thanks to tenders worth HUF 580 billion won between 2019 and 2021. In the same period, B + N Referencia Ltd., owned by Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, which is also significant at regional level, increased its revenue from public procurement by a factor of two and a half to HUF 532 billion.   

Lőrinc Mészáros’ company, V-Híd Építő Llc. reached the thirds place, which has won HUF 511 billion between 2019 and 2021. By far the most notable of these is the public procurement worth almost HUF 338 billion for the Ferencváros-Kelenföld railway line capacity extension.  

Private equity funds among the winners of public procurement contracts, or so much for the Hungarian constitution 

Tender Champion also ranks the private equity funds that have won public contracts.  The fact that private equity funds are also successful in winning public contracts is a fundamental violation of the requirement in the Hungarian Constitution that public funds and national assets should be managed in accordance with the principles of transparency and public accountability.   

Of the companies examined, 22 were directly or indirectly owned by 15 different private equity funds in 2022. The companies owned by the private equity funds won public contracts worth a total of HUF 608 billion, around 5% of the value of all tenders examined. Among the managers of the private equity funds, companies linked to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law István Tiborcz also feature.  

The TI Hungary Tender Champion interactive database is available at 

The Tenderbajnok analysis based on updated data can be downloaded in Hungarian and English. 

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