A company owned by the Meszaros group acquired minority stakes in Hungary’s largest natural gas distributor TIGAZ, further expanding its business portfolio, local media reported on July 16.
Status Energy Private Equity Fund has acquired a 49.57% stake in regional gas distributor TIGAZ from MET Group, an energy trader headquartered in Switzerland.
TIGAZ owns Hungary's largest gas network, with a length of some 33,000km, or 48% of the total in the country. It distributes over 2bncm of natural gas annually to 1.2 million customers in some 1,100 municipalities. It reported an after-tax profit of HUF24.4bn (€73mn) in 2018.
MET acquired 99% of TIGAZ from Italian ENI in 2017 and closed the deal in June 2018.
Status Energy Private Equity Fund acquired the stake indirectly through a capital raise. The company was launched by Opus Global Investment Fund Manager with HUF10bn in start-up capital to invest in power generating companies and energy distributors. Hungary’s most powerful oligarch, Lorinc Meszaros, owns 53% of the fund manager and Opus Global holds 47%.
TIGAZ will remain in MET's consolidation, and CEO Balazs Gabor Lehocz will continue to serve as the company's chief executive, according to the company’s statement
Headquartered in Switzerland, MET Group started operating in Hungary in 2007 but is now represented in 15 European countries. It is an integrated European energy company active in natural gas, power, and oil markets.
Last May, CEO Benjamin Lakatos and the management bought out minority shareholders and increased their holding to 100%. Last year, the company had revenue of €10.7bn, of which 96% was from markets other than Hungary.
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