Bulgaria agrees to postpone annual concession fees for Sofia Airport

Bulgaria’s Transport Minister Rossen Zhelyazkov signed on April 9 an annex to the concession contract for Sofia Airport, which granted operator Sof Connect a postponement on the payment of annual concession fees for the first 10 years of the contract.

In a statement, Zhelyazkov said that the annex was meant to “restore the economic balance of the concession, disrupted by Covid-19, the balance between the benefits and risks undertaken by the two sides.”

The proposed annex to the concession contract, made public earlier this week, drew opposition from several parties and coalitions set to enter the next National Assembly after the April 4 elections.

The ministry’s statement countered the criticism saying that concession tender would result in bids with lower up-front concession payments and, possibly, no annual fees at all.

Sof Connect, the consortium that includes French infrastructure investor Meridiam and Munich Airport, committed to making payment of the initial concession fee of 660 million leva (about 337.5 million euro), with VAT included, by the end of April, the ministry said.

Also included in the contract annex was an increase of the investment commitment by Sof Connect from 608 million euro to 624 million euro, the ministry said.

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