Concession offers for Sofia Airport opened

Five operators from UK, Germany, France and Denmark bid for the contract

Bulgarian authorities announced on Thursday that they had accepted the offers of all five international bidders for the concession of Sofia Airport. The procedure that will give the selected consortium a 35-year right to develop Bulgaria's largest airport would be completed by the beginning of June, Transport Minister Rossen Zhelyazkov said.

“We will be looking very seriously at all the offers. We are happy with the interest shown,” he added after the binding offers were opened. “For the assessment we will continue to rely on our consultants, according to the contract concluded with the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,” Zhelyazkov confirmed.

Five airport operators and investors from Britain, Germany, France and Denmark bid in a tender for the concession, with a consortium led by France's Aeroports de Paris (ADP) offering to pay €32.8m per year or 42.8% of the annual revenue, whichever is higher. The total offer was well above the €550m, including fees of €7.7m a year, plus a €280m upfront payment, that Bulgaria had been looking to secure. It also asked for an investment of €600m to cover among other things the building of a third passenger terminal.

ADP, which has teamed up on the bid with Turkey's TAV Airports, has offered to invest €903m in the airport over the duration of the contract, in addition to its annual concession fee. ADP, a majority state-owned company, operates three airports in the French capital - Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Le Bourget, as well as 23 others internationally.

Other bidders have committed to spend between €600m and €1bn to renovate the airport and expand its shopping and parking areas. Britain's largest airport operator, Manchester Airports Group, bidding in a tie-up with China's construction firm BCEG, offered an annual concession fee of €20m a year. The UK-based company operates also London Stansted and the East Midlands cargo airport.

Germany's Fraport, which operates Frankfurt airport, offered €21m. It already runs two airports in Bulgaria, in Varna and Burgas, alongside its Varna-based partner Chimimport.

A consortium comprising French asset manager Meridiam and the operator of Munich Airport offered €24.5m a year, and a tie-up between Copenhagen Airports and SSB Sauernwein & Schaefer made a bid of €26.5m.

Last week Sofia Airport issued its annual financial report, which showed an 11% increase in profits to €6.3bn in 2018. According to the data, the airport handled almost seven million passengers last year, 7.3% more than in 2017.

Similar articles

  • President appoints new caretaker government

    President appoints new caretaker government

    This morning, President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev dissolved the acting caretaker government and presented the new one, which had to be formed after the 46th National Assembly failed to form a regular cabinet. There are three new faces in this latest caretaker government, led as its predecessor by Prime Minister Stefan Yanev. Daniela Vezieva is set to take the reins of the economy, Valeri Belchev is to steer finance, while Hristo Alexiev heads the Ministry of Transport.

  • Bulgaria approves six European Delegated Prosecutors

    Bulgaria approves six European Delegated Prosecutors

    Meeting on Friday, the 11-member Prosecutors Chamber of the Supreme Judicial Council approved six European Delegated Prosecutors (EDPs) from Bulgaria after two days of hearings of all applicants for the position. A total of 23 Bulgarian magistrates (6 judges, 15 prosecutors and 2 investigating magistrates) applied for the position.