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DLA Piper, Sabev & Partners, and Kinstellar Advise on Signing of Airport Concession in Bulgaria

DLA Piper, Sabev & Partners, and Kinstellar Advise on Signing of Airport Concession in Bulgaria

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DLA Piper and Bulgaria's Sabev & Partners law firm have advised the Government of Bulgaria on the concession agreement and the tender procedure for the Sofia Airport in Bulgaria. As previously reported, Kinstellar advised the winning SOF Connect Consortium, which was led by Meridiam and included Munich Airport and Strabag.

The tender procedure for a mixed concession (including works and operation services) for the Sofia Airport was initiated by the Bulgarian government by way of an open procedure. In its winning offer, the Meridiam-led consortium offered to pay an upfront fee of BGN 550 million (EUR 281 million) as well as an annual concession fee of the higher of (i) 32% of the airport's annual revenues for the duration of the concession, or (ii) EUR 24.5 million per year. Additionally, the parties agreed that the concessionaire would make further investments in the airport, including in a new terminal.

According to DLA Piper, on July 22, 2020, "the Government of Bulgaria, through the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, and the SOF Connect Consortium ... signed a concession agreement for a period of 35 years for the operation of the Sofia Airport in Bulgaria."

"I am very pleased that the agreements were well written and attracted many of the best bidders in the world, but foremost that the signing was achievable despite the current situation," commented DLA Piper Vienna Partner Jasna Zwitter-Tehovnik, who co-led the firm's team with DLA Piper Milan Partner Francesco Ferrari and Sabev & Partners Partner Boryana Boteva. The team also included Sabev & Partners Partner Iskra Neycheva, DLA Piper Senior Associates Ivan Males and Luigi Mula, and DLA Piper Associates Domen Brus and Alessandro Carofiglio.

As reported by CEE Legal Matters on July 18, 2019, Kinstellar's team was coordinated by Partner Diana Dimova and Managing Associate Mladen Minev and included Partner Antonia Mavrova, Counsel Svilen Issaev, Of Counsel Dessislava Fessenko, Managing Associate Nina Tsifudina, and Associates Kristina Lyubenova, Denitsa Kuzeva, Vanya Evtimova, Simeon Vachev, Kamen Chanov, Georgi Georgiev and Petar Popov.

In June, 2020, CEE Legal Matters also reported that Kinstellar had served as legal counsel to the SOF Connect consortium on successful litigation procedures related to its receipt of the 35-year concession to operate the airport.

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