Bulgaria Seeks $382 Million From Sofia Airport Concession

  • Operator required to invest 307 million lev, build terminal
  • Government demands annual concession fee of 10 million lev

The Bulgarian government started a tender for a 35-year concession to operate Sofia Airport, the country’s biggest, demanding at least 660 million lev ($382 million) in initial payment.

The concessionaire will be required to invest at least 307 million lev in the airport, which includes building a new terminal with an annual capacity of 3 million passengers, to replace its oldest one, the Transport Ministry said on its website on Friday. The government also seeks a minimal annual concession fee of 10 million lev, or at least 7 percent of the airport’s net annual revenue, the Ministry said.

Possible candidates for the concession include Spain’s Ferrovial SA, operator of London’s Heathrow airport; Fraport AG, which runs Bulgarian Black Sea airports Varna and Bourgas; Vinci SA, Turkey’s Limak Holding AS, operator of Munich Airport, Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski said in May.

Sofia Airport operates two terminals with a maximum annual capacity of 4.4 million passengers. The airport’s traffic rose 7 percent from a year earlier to 4 million passengers in 2015. Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest discount airline, plans to open a base in Sofia in September.

The deadline for bids is October 20, according to the ministry. The initial payment and annual fees carry 55 percent weight in the tender selection criteria, followed by the business plan with 25 percent, investment plan with 15 percent and security measures account for 5 percent, the ministry said.

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