EBRD investing 74.3 mln euro in Sofia airport concessionaire

EBRD investing 74.3 mln euro in Sofia airport concessionaire

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Tuesday that it will support the development of the international airport in Bulgarian capital Sofia through an indirect equity investment of 74.3 million euro ($88.3 million) in airport concessionaire SOF Connect.

The total investment consists of 58 million euro equity investment and a further 16.3 million euro contingent equity exposure, the EBRD said in a statement.

"We are delighted to support the development of Sofia airport as a key infrastructure asset for Bulgaria. Together with our partners, we view this as a market-based solution, with a view to achieving sustainable development," Anca Ioana Ionescu, EBRD director for Bulgaria, said in the statement.

The equity investment is a follow-up to a 50 million euro loan provided to SOF Connect earlier this year to support the airport’s transformation, the bank added.

In July 2020, Bulgaria's government signed a contract for a 35-year concession for the development, upgrade, maintenance, management and operation of Sofia airport with SOF Connect, a consortium led by French investment firm Meridiam and also comprising Austria's Strabag and the operator of Munich airport.

The consortium has pledged to invest at least 624 million euro throughout the duration of the concession, including the construction of a new Terminal 3, as well as make environmental, health and safety upgrades.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) said last month that it signed a 40 million euro ($47 million) loan agreement with SOF Connect for the modernisation of Sofia airport. The EIB loan will be used to finance improvements to the airport's existing facilities and operations, rather than investment in airport capacity expansion, in line with the EIB Climate Bank Roadmap approved in November.

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