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France's ADP, two other bidders appeal Sofia airport tender award

Three out of the five contenders to run and operate Sofia Airport, Bulgaria's main air transport hub, have appealed the transport ministry's decision to award the 35-year concession to a consortium led by asset manager Meridiam.

SOFIA, July 29 (Reuters) - Three out of the five contenders to run and operate Sofia Airport, Bulgaria's main air transport hub, have appealed the transport ministry's decision to award the 35-year concession to a consortium led by asset manager Meridiam.

Data published on the website of the anti-monopoly regulator showed that a consortium led by France's Aeroports de Paris (ADP) ADP.PA, which was ranked second as well as Germany's Fraport FRAG.DE have filed a complaint against the ministry's decision.

Britain's largest airport operator, Manchester Airports Group, in a tie-up with China's construction firm BCEG have also appealed, data showed.

The transport ministry picked the Meridiam-led consortium for the concession earlier this month, although it offered the lowest investment in Sofia airport compared to the four other bidders. Its offer for annual concession fees came third.

The winning consortium, which includes the operator of Munich Airport, offered an annual concession fee of 24.5 million euros ($27.23 million) or 32% of annual revenues. It also pledged to invest 608 million euros in Sofia airport.

The ministry said it took its decision after assessing the credibility and the sustainability of the offered business and financial models for the airport's development.

($1 = 0.8998 euros)

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

((angel.krasimirov@thomsonreuters.com; +359 888 695 510;))

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