Bulgarian anti-trust body dismisses complaints against Sofia Airport concession

Bulgarian anti-trust body dismisses complaints against Sofia Airport concession

Bulgaria's anti-trust authority said that it has rejected the complaints of all four unsuccessful bidders against the transport ministry's pick in the tender for a 35-year concession contract to run Sofia Airport.The decision can be appealed within 14 days before the Supreme Administrative Court, the Commission for Protection of Competition said in its decision on Friday.The regulator dismissed all arguments of the four bidders, which included the fact that the Meridiam Eastern Europe Investments-led consortium had offered the lowest amount of planned investments - barely above the 600 million euro ($664 million) minimum requirement, and that Meridiam Eastern Europe Investments is due to be liquidated in 2037, nearly halfway through the term of the concession.Meridiam Eastern Europe Investments won the tender with an offered concession fee of 24.5 million euro per year and planned investments of 608 million euro.A consortium comprising France's Aeroports de Paris (ADP) and its unit TAV Havalimanlari Holding proposed the highest concession fee - of 32.8 million euro per year, with planned investments of 903 million euro, but its offer was not picked due to a lower score on the technical criteria.The other offers were submitted by Fraport Bulgaria, a consortium led by Manchester Airport Group Overseas Investments Limited and including BCEGI Construction, and a consortium led by Swiss-based SSB Sauerwein & Schaefer Bau.The Sofia Airport operator's net profit rose to 14 million levs ($7.9 million/7.2 million euro) in the January-September period of 2019 from 11.1 million levs in the same period of last year, as its revenue grew to 134.8 million levs from 124.2 million levs.

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