TőzsdeFórum reports, based on the latest issue of Hungarian Forbes, that Sándor Csányi and his agricultural empire is on top of the list of the most successful entrepreneur families in Hungary. This is the third time that Forbes compiled such a list.
This list showcases perfectly how the change of regime impacted people’s spirit of business. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who started off low, who did not chase their dreams, but simply wanted to be better and more efficient at what they were good at, or to improve the situation that the communist state could not handle properly. TőzsdeFórum argues that the government still has a lot to say in these matters, stating that ‘what they were afraid to touch previously, now they are holding onto with strong hands’. Thus some people get help from the government, and others are lifted up to the top, even though they did nothing for it. The following is an excerpt (taking into consideration only the top three) of the list containing the 25 most wealthy family ventures in Hungary in 2017.
Bonafarm group, KITE Ltd., MCS Vágóhíd Ltd.
Estimated goodwill: 113.4 billion forints ~ 370 million EUR
The agricultural empire belonging to the bank CEO’s family is constantly expanding, while the EBITDA* of the group level Bonafarm has further declined this year, owing to the change in agrarian supports. The Csányi’s are planning to invest over 100 billion forints (~ 327 million EUR) in the next decade. This claim is supported by the fact that Sándor Csányi carried out a 28.3 billion forints (~ 92 mill EUR) capital increase at Bonafarm Zrt in January, and he even bought back the MCS Vágóhíd Ltd. that is behind the slaughterhouse at Mohács.
Csányi could easily buy the Bellye Ltd. (the subsidiary of the Croatian Agrokor), and with this move – Jutarnji List daily argues – he would become Europe’s biggest landowner. With getting hold of KITE Ltd. (this agricultural integrator company deals with the majority of Hungarian landowners), the Bonafarm group has strengthened its position in the agrarian scene. The slaughterhouse at Mohács is now operating at a 75 percent capacity.
Estimated goodwill: 112.4 billion forints ~ 367 mill EUR
The Hungarian and Chinese factories of the grouping imports now polishing tools to Iran too, thus MPF Holding conquered another export market. The grouping bought Widenta in 2003, which has grown into the biggest polishing tool and cutting wheel manufacturer of the region. They further expanded since then: Felcsuti bought the Hungarian Arms and Machine Manufacturing Company (FÉG for short in Hungarian, referring to Fegyver- és Gépgyártó Részvénytársaság). He even plans to expand into the chemical industry.
Estimated goodwill: 73.4 billion forints ~ 240 mill EUR
László Bige and his family were the ring leaders last year. The Nitrogénművek company belonging to them has started an immense development project, as it is proved by the fact that the company’s long term liabilities have reached 90 bill forints (~ 294 mill EUR) this year. At the same time, their competitors at the chemical manure market are getting more and more serious. The company’s EBITDA has decreased by 4 bill forints (~ 13 mill EUR) during the past one year since the prices have dropped because of the strong competition.
There is no need to worry about the Nitrogénművek and Bige. Still, the question remains, how strong they will be abroad after finishing the developments. Their biggest competitors in Hungary are KITE (Csányi) and IKR (belonging to a Slovakian-Czech multi-billionaire, Andrei Babiš.
*EBITDA = Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
featured image: viszavzsodor.blogspot.com