High interest in tender for concession of Sofia Airport in Bulgaria

Sofia AirportBetween 7 and 8 international companies have an interest in concession of Sofia Airport in Bulgaria. This was confirmed by Bulgarian Minister of Transport Ivaylo Moskovski at a meeting of the committee on Wednesday.

“European practice shows that this is the best way to manage the airport structure”, said he.

Concession at the airport in Bulgarian capital is again on the agenda after the cabinet announced a new procedure late last month. Last year there was one again, but it was canceled.

The plan of the Ministry of Transport is to give the airport in Sofia on concession for a period of 420 months (35 years). The reported estimated value is EUR 3.9 billion EUR (7.6 billion BGN) excluding VAT. Among the requirements for the concession is the construction of a third terminal at the airport, which should occur during the first 10 years of its operations. Also, its total investment must be at least 600 million EUR.

On other hand, concession tax, which will be received each year of the period, should be at least 15 million BGN excluding VAT or 10% of the total amount of the revenue from all activities.

The applicants will have to operate at least one international airport with more than 10 million passengers per year, have assets with a net worth of at least 200 million EUR for the last three years, and have experience in financing at least one infrastructure project for over 400 million EUR.

The deadline for submitting bids by candidates is October 22, 2018.

The previous procedure was discontinued in April 2017, with the reason for this decision being the low number of candidates. Then it became clear that the participants were only four, some of whom took part in the announced tender for the Belgrade’s airport Nikola Tesla. Specific companies were not listed, but according to unofficial information, they were VTB Capital, Limak Holding and Flughafen Zuerich respectively. Some of them may also participate in the new procedure.

Last year, it became clear that the UK biggest airport operator, Manchester Airport Group, is also interested in the airport. He runs the Manchester, London Stansted, East Midland airports in Leicester and Boutnemouth in Bournemouth. The company may be among the participants in the new procedure.

Among the candidates this time can be the German Fraport, which currently holds the airports in Varna and Bourgas.