EBRD takes equity position in Sofia Airport – sustainability the goal?
Typically, regional investment banks in Europe, Asia, Africa and elsewhere are content to make loans to airport authorities, and increasingly to private sector operators and investors, to help them build necessary infrastructure, and especially so where this helps improve economic performance and GDP.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development follows (EBRD) such a pattern, working essentially in the old political Eastern Bloc of Europe, and it has a track record of loan assistance to airports.
But now the EBRD has invested into an equity stake at Sofia Airport, which was concessioned earlier this year to a fund-led consortium following an acrimonious transaction and numerous appeals by the losing parties. It does so with a mandate to develop infrastructure “in a sustainable manner”. Other such deals could follow; if so, that would change the ball game for private sector investors.
This report questions the implications for airport transactions in the future, and if ‘sustainability’ will dominate them.
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