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Lauder, U.S. Ambassador Form Central European Investment Company

January 25, 1990

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) _ Cosmetics heir Ronald S. Lauder and U.S. Ambassador Mark Palmer on Thursday announced the founding of a Central European investment company formed to take advantage of the lifting of the Iron Curtain.

The Central European Development Corp., made up of U.S. and Canadian investors, bought a 50 percent interest in the Hungarian General Banking and Trust Company Ltd. for $10 million, a company release said.

Lauder, the son of Estee Lauder and a Republican outsider in last year’s New York mayoral race, is the chairman of the new venture. Palmer, the ambassador to Hungary, will serve as president and chief executive officer.

Palmer plans to resign from the State Department and end his diplomatic career following Hungarian general elections in late March, the release said.

Lauder, a former U.S. ambassador to Vienna, said the company would initially concentrate on business opportunities in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

Company headquarters, now at Lauder’s New York City office, will be moved to Budapest in the future.

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