German airport operator Fraport still hoping for Sofia Airport

Written by on May 3, 2017 in Business - Comments Off on German airport operator Fraport still hoping for Sofia Airport

Fraport, a huge German transport company, still wants Sofia Airport. Its CFO Matthias Zieschang told the publication Börsen-Zeitung, in spite of many acquisitions and a rising debt, more investments of this kind were financially feasable.

“We are still very much interested in Sofia Airport”, Zieschang said. “Last year, it was under a concession tender.” Because of the parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, the “process was delayed”, he stated. “It is unclear whether and when things will continue down there”, the Fraport CFO said.

Zieschang indicated, since Fraport was already running the airports in both Varna and Burgas, there could be synergies, which would prove to be an advantage.

Fraport operates Frankfurt Airport, the largest airport in mainland Europe. Recently, the company acquired two Brazilian and as many as fourteen Greek airports.

Because of the recent acquisitions, Fraport’s debt is now at a whooping 3.5 billion (U.K. English: milliard) Euro. But, according to Zieschang, there is still a lot of room. In 2016, Fraport’s business abroad contributed about one third to the company’s revenues.

Recently, the Fraport stock has been rising substantially. On Tuesday, it reached a record value of more than 73 Euro.

A month ago, Bulgaria’s caretaker government had cancelled the concession tender for the Sofia Airport, citing “the presence of an objective factor that was not taken into account when making the decision to open the [tender] proceedings”.

The decision came as no surprise, after caretaker Transport Minister Hristo Alexiev said last month that he would submit a proposal asking to cancel the concession, claiming that an expert analysis concluded that the concession terms were not “in the state’s interest”.

Fraport seems to be hoping that the new Borissov government, scheduled to be voted into office tomorrow, might reopen the tender for Sofia Airport.

 

 

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Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.