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IFC lending 182 mln euro to Belgrade airport’s concessionaire

Author Radomir Ralev
IFC lending 182 mln euro to Belgrade airport’s concessionaire Image by: Addy Cameron-Huff.

BELGRADE (Serbia), December 27 (SeeNews) – The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is providing a 182 million euro ($207.2 million) financing package to France’s Vinci Airports, the new private concessionaire of Nikola Tesla international airport in Belgrade, the IFC said.

IFC’s financing package comprises a direct 72 million euro A loan and a 110 million euro B loan under IFC’s syndication umbrella, the lender said in a statement last week.

Vinci Airports was awarded the concession to develop the airport in January, following a competitive public tender. The 25-year contract includes financing the airport’s upgrading, expansion, operation and maintenance and is expected to almost triple its passenger capacity by the end of the concession.

“We are delighted to support the entry of a global leader in airport operation to Serbia, helping Nikola Tesla Airport reach its full potential for all stakeholders,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. “This is the first airport concession in the country and we hope it will serve as a model for how the private sector can deliver efficient solutions in infrastructure in the region.”

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing the same amounts in A and B loans. IFC, EBRD, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) and Societe de Promotion et de Participation pour la Cooperation Economique SA (Proparco), were lead arrangers on the project. Lenders Banca IMI, Unicredit, Erste Group, Kommunalkredit, CIC and Societe Generale are mobilised to participate in the financing through IFC’s and EBRD’s B loan umbrella.

“IFC is pleased to bring its global airport financing expertise to Serbia and to support Vinci as it takes over private operation of the Nikola Tesla Airport. We are hopeful that this flagship transaction serves as a positive regional example of successful private participation in infrastructure that can be replicated in other markets seeking to follow a similar path,” Cheryl Edleson Hanway, IFC’s Regional Senior Manager for Infrastructure and Natural Resources said.

Total costs for the Belgrade airport project are estimated at 982 million euro, including an upfront concession fee of 501 million euro, and approximately 380 million euro in capital expenditures and development costs. The upgrades are expected to increase the airport’s capacity to a service level of more than 14 million passengers annually by the end of the concession period in 2043, from 5.3 million in 2017.  

($ = 0.87835 euro)