MUNICH AIRPORT CONSORTIUM TO OPERATE SOFIA AIRPORT
The battle to win the concession to operate Bulgaria’s Sofia Airport has been won by the SOF Connect consortium, comprising 100% owned Munich Airport subsidiary, Munich Airport International (MAI), and asset manager, Meridiam.
The news is a bitter blow to a consortium led by Groupe ADP – which offered the highest concession fee – and an Anglo-Chinese partnership of the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) and its investment partner, the Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG).
The deal, announced in Bulgaria last week is expected to be formally ratified within the next two weeks.
In exchange for an annual concession fee of €24.5 million or 32% of annual revenues and a pledge to invest €608 million on upgrading the airport, the SOF Connect consortium will manage, operate and develop Sofia Airport for the next 35 years.
Top of the agenda for Sofia Airport in terms of new facilities is a third passenger terminal, which the consortium has agreed to build within 10 years, while the existing terminals need modernising.
According to newspaper reports in Bulgaria, the plan is to raise Sofia Airport’s capacity to 12.3 million passenger by 2030 and 14.5mppa by 2035 when the existing Terminal 1 could be converted to a cargo terminal.
Speaking exclusively to Airport World about the deal, Munich Airport CEO, Dr Michael Kerkloh, said: “We are always looking to expand our international business and the agreement, so soon after the Newark Liberty Terminal One deal, confirms our commitment to growing outside of Munich.”
You can read more about the deal, and operator Flughafen München GmbH’s (FMGs) plans to develop Munich Airport and its growing portfolio of international assets in the next issue of Airport World.