The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) together with a group of international development institutions and commercial banks, is supporting the concession and the capital expenditure programme of Sofia airport. The Bank’s committed amount of EUR 73 million is part of a EUR 240 million loan provided to SOF Connect AD, a special-purpose vehicle majority-owned by Meridiam Eastern Europe Investments SAS.
The Project is one of the largest concessions and PPP projects in Bulgaria until now. The BSTDB loan is for the first stage of the Project and will help participation of the private sector in transport infrastructure. Additionally, the loan will support the upgrade and modernization of the existing airport, which is the largest international airport of the country.
The total cost of the first stage of the Project is EUR 480 million, and Meridiam provides EUR 240 million equity for it.
Dmitry Pankin, BSTDB President said: “Support of critical infrastructure across the Black Sea region remains top priority. We are very pleased to be part of this project which will improve the country’s connectivity, boost tourism and lead to economic growth in Bulgaria, once the pandemic is stabilised.”
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Kommunalkredit Austria AG, Societe Generale and Unicredit Bulbank AD are also participating in the financing package.
SOF Connect AD, with lead shareholder Meridiam was awarded a 35-year concession (until 2055) by the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of the Republic of Bulgaria to invest, develop, operate and maintain the Sofia Airport including the design and construction of a new passenger terminal building and its associated infrastructure.
Founded in 2005, Meridiam is an independent investment benefit corporation under French law and an asset manager. The firm specialises in the development, financing, and long-term management of sustainable public infrastructure in three core sectors: mobility, energy transition and environment, and social infrastructure.