Manchester Airports Group says will appeal Sofia Airport concession ruling

At least one of four losing bidders in the Sofia Airport concession tender will appeal in court a regulator’s decision that confirmed the Transport Ministry’s pick of the consortium between French infrastructure investor Meridiam and Munich Airport as the future concessionaire.

Manchester Airports Group, which bid jointly with China’s state-owned Beijing Construction Engineering Group, said on November 27 that it would file a formal appeal at the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) against the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) ruling.

Earlier this month, CPC ruled against the complaints lodged by the four losing bidders in the Sofia Airport concession tender, dismissing them as groundless. The decision, made on November 14, can be appealed at the SAC within a 14-day period after it has been communicated to all interested parties.

Manchester Airports Group said that it was focused on the appeals process and believed that its bid was superior to the Meridiam-Munich Airport offer, Bulgarian National Television reported, quoting a company statement.

It was not known whether any of the other three losing bidders – the consortium between Aéroports de Paris and Turkish TAV Havalimanlari Holding, Germany’s Fraport and the tie-up between Swiss-based SSB Sauerwein & Schaefer and Copenhagen Airports – intended to file their own appeals.

Litigation would delay the signing of the concession contract and payment of the initial concession fee of 550 million leva (about 281.2 million euro), which the Bulgarian government aims to use on the country’s ailing state railway BDZ, settling its outstanding debts and to purchase new rolling stock.

(Sofia Airport Terminal 2 photo: Bulgarian Interior Ministry)



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.