Belgrade Airport extends bidding deadline

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has announced an extension of the final bidding process by a month from late September until October 23. One of the bidders is a consortium comprising Chinese entities.

“Having in mind the amount and complexity of the documentation made available to the qualified bidders in the virtual data room, and bearing in mind that they have formed consortiums, the Public Body has decided that the deadline for the submission of binding offers should be extended so that all qualified bidders have sufficient time to analyze all available data, procure necessary financing and submit adequate applications for their binding offers,” a statement from the airport said.

Under the new timeframe, a winning bid is expected to be selected in December, and financial close reached in March 2018.

“The final concession agreement will be fine-tuned to reflect the content of the selected bid, in particular the financial and technical parts of the selected bid,” the airport said. The government anticipates that the airport sale could generate up to 500 million euros (US$588 million) as an up-front payment, plus an annual concession fee over 25 years.

One of the bidders is a consortium featuring HNA Airport Group and AVIC International Holding Corporation. It will also be backed by the China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Cooperation Fund. The China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Cooperation Fund was inaugurated in 2013, during the second Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (China-CEEC Summit).

The fund is incorporated in Luxembourg and is sponsored by the Export-Import Bank of China and Hungarian Export-Import Bank, along with an investment advisor team appointed by the fund. Its vision is to become a leading private equity fund in Central and Eastern Europe, and contribute to the sustainable development of the economies in this region.

On November 5 2016, during the Fifth China-CEEC Summit the Riga Guidelines were announced, including establishing a second phase of the fund totalling US$1 billion. An office was also set up in Warsaw in 2016.

There is intense lobbying going on with regard to the airport sale. The president and CEO of the Incheon International Airport Corporation, Chung Il-young, recently met with the Serbian Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure in Belgrade to discuss the concession. Incheon Airport is in a consortium together with Turkey's Yatirimlar ve isletme and VTB Capital Infrastructure of Russia.

The three other bidders are a consortium comprising Zurich Airport, together with French firms Meridiam and Eiffage, a consortium consisting of India's GMR Infrastructure Limited and Greece's Terna, and standalone bid from Vinci of France.



16 Aug 2017

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