Hungarian state-owned start-up MPVI Mobil, which is vying to become the country’s fourth mobile network operator, has reportedly accepted the resignation of its chairman and chief executive, Portfolio.hu reports. At a general meeting held late last week, chairman of the board Istvan Kalmar and CEO Pal Schmidt stepped down from their posts a matter of weeks ahead of the outcome of the court’s final decision on MPVI’s bid to secure the coveted concession.
MPVI Mobil, which is owned by Hungarian Development Bank subsidiary MFB Invest (45%), the electricity utility MVM (45%) and Magyar Posta (10%), is currently bogged down in the court system after its licence award was nullified in September last year. Under the ruling of the Budapest Metropolitan Court, the results of the January 2012 auction were voided, including the granting of extra frequency capacities to the three other incumbent mobile operators – T-Mobile, Vodafone and Pannon (backed by Telenor). ‘Based on existing regulations at the time of the tender, state-owned companies couldn’t have taken part as bidders in the tender,’ said ruling judge Gyorgy Mohay. ‘We have discovered serious procedural law infringements,’ he added. The ruling is binding and cannot be appealed, he added.
The court has called for the whole auction process to be repeated, and in November 2012 local press rumours suggested that the government had already given up on its plan to launch a new market entrant.