Munich Airport has announced it has secured the Sofia Airport Concession, in a joint deal with French investment firm Meridiam and Austrian construction company Strabag.
The decision to award the concession to the group was taken by Bulgaria’s Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, who had to choose between five bids in total for the concession tender.
“Our group is looking forward to the next steps and working closely with all stakeholders to implement its development plan to further enhance the attractivity of the airport and the economy,” said a spokesperson for the companies.
The Bulgarian government conducted the tender process in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The concession was also competed for by Manchester Airports Group, which operates the Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted airports, Frankfurt airport operator Fraport, Turkey’s TAV Havalimanlari Holding with Aeroports de Paris, and Swiss-based SSB Sauerwein & Schaefer with Copenhagen Airports.
Bulgaria plans to use the concession fee to bolster the country’s state railway BDZ, settle its outstanding debts and purchase new rolling stock.
This is the second time the Bulgarian government has attempted to establish a concession for the airport, which requires the concession holder to build a third terminal, with a previous attempt ditched in 2017 after several delays.