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Court halts Bulgarian coastal airports concession deal

Date: 29.01.2006

A five-member-panel of Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) halted the concession agreement between Bulgaria and the picked investor for Bulgarian coastal airports in Varna and Burgas - Copenhagen Airports AS.

The decision taken at a Friday session is final and is not to be subjected to an appeal.

The magistrates confirmed the ruling of the their colleagues from October 20, 2005. Back then the court reviewed once again the claims of the outcast bidders, the consortium of Fraport AG and BM Star and the Vinci Concession and Vinci Airports consortium. It then decided to cancel the decision of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers on the concession agreement with Copenhagen Airports AS. The Council of Minister later appealed the court ruling.

Now, SAC ruled that Copenhagen Airports AS does not meet the requirements of the tender. The candidates were to have at least 2 years experience in managing at least 2 big airports over the last five years in different countries.

In June 2005 Copenhagen Airports AS signed the 35-year concession agreement with Bulgaria over the operation of the two coastal airports at Varna and Burgas. The agreement involved investment programmes of approximately EUR 526 M and the annual concession royalty was expected to be EUR 1,200 M.

Sofia News Agency

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