Year In Review

Europe & Africa: Year in Review • 2017

Europe & Africa

Greece – Jan 05/17 – Athens Reaches Agreement on 20-year Extension

The extension of the Athens International Airport concession looks to be a done deal. The 20-year tag-on will comes with a price tag of Є1.75b, including a Є580m initial down payment with the balance to be paid in annual installments over the term.

Bulgaria – Jan 06/17 – Plovdiv Airport Heading Back to Market

The outgoing Bulgarian government has initiated a retendering of the Plovdiv airport concession as it received no offers from the recent proposal call launched in March. The renewed market offering will be based on a 35-year concession term and fall under the new EU concession rules which came into effect this April.

Bulgaria – Feb 03/17 – Sofia Concession Bid Delayed for Fourth Time

The Sofia airport concession bid deadline has been extended by the outgoing Bulgarian Cabinet once again. The new deadline for proposals, now set for May 19, is the 4th in a series of delays. In mid-2016, the bid process was suspended for parliament to consider a change to the country’s concessions law allowing for concession contracts more than 35 years.

Serbia – Mar 08/17 – Fraport Considers Bid for Belgrade Airport

The Serbian Prime Minister has tipped Fraport as a potential bidder for Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla airport. The 25-year concession, is expected to generate Є350-400m in up-front fees and annual payments of Є10+m for the government.

Croatia – Apr 07/17 – Zagreb Airport Celebrates Terminal Opening

The consortium led by ADP/TAV and Bouygues Bâtiment recently celebrated the opening of the new 65,000 sqm Zagreb terminal. The state-of-the-art terminal doubles airport capacity from 2.5m to 5.0m passengers/year. The 30-year concession was awarded to the group in 2013 – the airport handled 2.8m passengers last year.

Bulgaria – Apr 10/17 – Sofia Airport Concession Bid Process Terminated

Amid a trail of deadline extensions, concession law amendments and various unexpected course changes, Bulgaria’s caretaker government has terminated the bidding process for the planned 35-year concession of Sofia International Airport.

Greece – Apr 12/17 – Fraport Kicks Off Greek Regional Concession

The Fraport-led consortium kicked off its 40-year concession of 14 regional Greek airports. The group paid an upfront fee of €1.234b plus annual fixed concession payments of €22.9m and an annual variable fee of 28.5% of EBITDA. Under the deal, passenger fees for those flying outside the EU will be reduced from €22 to €12 per head, equal to the intra-European rate.

Spain – Apr 22/17 – Spain’s Corvera Airport Faces Another Challenge

The Corvera Airport is facing yet another challenge from AENA, the operator of nearby San Javier and Alicante airports, in the form of an appeal to the Central Administrative Tribunal of Contractual Resources. Corvera was completed back in 2012, but remains unopened and mired in controversy as AENA seeks to protect its commercial interests.

Serbia – May 01/17 – Incheon Sets Sites on Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport

South Korea operator Incheon has its sight set on Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Int’l Airport. Incheon and 26 other companies have submitted letters of interest to operate and develop the airport under a 25-year concession contract. The government extended the deadline for non-binding offers to May 25 earlier in the month.

Greece – May 11/17 – Greek/Indian JV Presents Novel Approach for Crete  

The new Kasteli Airport development project planned for the Greek island of Crete features a novel joint venture between Greece’s GEK-TERNA and India’s GMR (consortium building facilitated by Modalis). The GEK-Terna/GMR offer came in dramatically lower than the forecast €850m price tag. The construction offer is €480m, to be built over 60 months.

Liberia – May 24/17 – Liberia Eyes Cargo Concession for Roberts Airport

The Liberian government has put forward a proposal for concession for the Roberts International Airport to facilitate financing, design, operation and maintenance of a leading-edge cargo handling operation at the airport. If ratified, the concessionaire Global Logistics Services, a Liberian company, will work in collaboration with National Aviation Services of Kuwait.

Liberia – Jun 01/17 – Liberia Eyes Cargo Concession for Roberts Airport

The Liberian government has put forward a proposal for concession for the Roberts International Airport to facilitate financing, design, operation and maintenance of a leading-edge cargo handling operation at the airport. If ratified, the concessionaire Global Logistics Services, a Liberian company, will work in collaboration with National Aviation Services of Kuwait.

Guernsey – Jun 04/17 – Guernsey Explores PPP Model for Runway Extension 

Guernsey’s Economic Development Committee is reported to be considering a public-private partnership to finance a runway extension for Guernsey airport . The proposed PPP has been added to a list of projects and is subject to a business case, to be complete by year-end. Under the proposal, the Guernsey runway would be extended from 1,463m to at least 1,706m.

Serbia – Jul 03/17 – Strong Interest in Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport

A diverse group of bidders will advance to the next round for concession of the Nikola Tesla Int’l Airport in Belgrade. Groups pursuing the opportunity include Meridiam (France), Zurich Airport (Switzerland) and Eiffage (France); GMR (India) and GEK-Terna, (Greece), Incheon (South Korea), Yatirimlar ve isletme (Tukey) and VTB Capital (Russia); Hainan Air Travel Service (China), HNA and China National Aero Technology (China). Serbia is looking to pocket up to €400m on the deal.

Madagascar – Jul 09/17 – Madagascar Concessions Two International Airports

The Ravinala Airports company, held by ADP (35%) and Bouygues (20%), along with Colas Madagascar and Meridiam (45%), took on operation and management of Madagascar’s international airports of Ivato and Fascene in December 2016. The 28-year concession contract with the Republic of Madagascar includes a new international terminal at Ivato airport, as well as runway and existing terminal refurbishments at both airports. Financing for the project was finalized in late June.

Rwanda – Jul 17/17 – Rwanda Signs Concession for New Kigali Airport 

The Rwandan government has signed a concession agreement for the development and operation of the new Kigali – Bugesera International Airport. With an estimated construction cost of US$700m for the entire project, the first phase of work is scheduled to be completed in 27 months with a design capacity of 1.8m passengers/year.

France – Aug 10/17 – French State Ponders Liquidation of AdP Shares

The French government recently announced plans to sell 10b worth of stakes in state-owned companies, including AdP, to raise capital for financing innovation, a key election promise of President Emmanuel Macron. The French state currently holds 50.63% in AdP, which operates the two Paris-area airports of Charles de Gaulle and Orly.

Germany – Sep 01/17 – Frankfurt-Hahn Controlling Stake Sold to Chinese 

The sale of an 82.5% stake in Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has been finalized, China’s HNA Group (parent of Hainan Airlines). The purchase valued at €15.1 million, was subject to European regulatory approval, includes €25.3m in subsidies. The HNA deal comes in the wake of a deal with another Chinese investor group which collapsed prior to financial close.

Greece – Sep 06/17 – Airports Critical to Success of Greek Bailout Programme 

The Greek state’s airport privatization program is expected to feature critically in negotiations, as the country’s coalition government begins review of its bailout program. A Fraport-led consortium holds concessions over 14 regional Greek airports, the GEK-Terna group has been given the nod to develop the new Kasteli greenfield airport in Crete and privately-operated Athens airport recently received a 20-year extension of its long-term concession of the nation’s premier international gateway.

Montenegro – Sep 11/17 – Montenegro Seeks Foreign Investors for Int’l Airports

The government Montenegro recently initiated discussions with foreign investors for concession of Podgorica and Tivat airports, including parties from Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Turkey and UAE. Podgorica and Tivat handled roughly 775,000 up to mid-year 2017, a year-on-year rise of ~23%. State-owned Airports of Montenegro is the current operator.

Namibia – Oct 07/17 – Namibia Seeks World Bank Advice for Airport PPP

The government of Namibia is seeking advice from the World Bank to attract private investors for development and management of the Hosea Kutako International Airport, through a public private partnership (PPP), as the cash-strapped country struggles to raise required capital for airport development and expansion.

Bulgaria – Oct 09/17 – Bidder Appeal of Plovdiv Concession Process Rejected

Bulgaria’s Competition watchdog has rejected an appeal by Silk Road Plovdiv Airport, clearing the way for evaluation of the two other bids received by HNA Group which owns Hainan Airlines and the local Consortium Plovdiv Airport. The selection process, launched in late 2016, is structured as 35-year concession.

Lithuania – Oct 12/16 – New Lithuanian Gov’t Revisits Airport Privatization 

With the Lithuanian airport concession process stalled since last year’s national elections, the new government recently struck a strategic committee to revisit plans for private sector involvement in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga airports. New to this latest effort is the consideration of a new greenfield airport. The committee’s findings are expected in the end of Q1 2018.

Greece – Nov 03/17 – Fraport Commits Critical Capital to Greek Regionals 

Thanks to the country’s prolonged financial crisis and severe austerity measures, Greece’s airports suffered neglect and a trickle of capital investment. The Fraport concession of 14 regional Greek airports aims to turn this tide, wit targeted investment in key areas of airport infrastructure including resurfacing of the runways at all 14 airports, starting with Myconos.

Greece – Dec 06/17 – New Crete Greenfield Airport to Break Ground in 2018

Despite repeated delays in the tendering and award process, construction on the new Kasteli Airport is set to commence in June 2018. The Indo-Greek joint venture of GMR and GEK-TERNA will be taking on the build at an estimated cost of €480m, with completion targeted for 2023.

France – Dec 19/17 – Lyon Celebrates 10m Passenger Milestone  

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) recently celebrated a major traffic milestone, welcoming over 10m passengers in 2017 – a record for the recently privatized airport. In 2016, the French state awarded a 60% stake in LYS to the consortium of VINCI, Caisse des Depots et Consignations and Predica (Credit Agricole’s insurance unit).