Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TAV takeover in limbo

Štip to get cargo airport
The Turkish company TAV Holdings was last year expected to take over the management of Macedonia’s Skopje and Ohrid airports. TAV also signed a contract with the Macedonian government outlining that the company would modernise both airports and build another one. The company offered 200 million Euros for the modernisation of Skopje and Ohrid airports as well as the construction of a new airport to be complete within the next 20 years. It was agreed that the new airport would be built in Štip, a key agricultural centre located in Macedonia’s east, to be used for cargo purposes. However, at the end of last year, TAV requested that the takeover of the airports be postponed, explaining that the company was unable to provide the finances for all its planned projects in Macedonia because of the financial crisis. In the meantime, they denied giving up the investment several times.

Yesterday the Macedonian transport minister Mile Janakievski said that the cargo airport in Štip is part of the concession agreement with the Turkish TAV and its construction will not be cancelled. According to him, provisions of the annex to the agreement for the concession of the airports in Macedonia signed last year in September remain valid. However, 10 days before TAV must pay out its hefty multi million Euro takeover, there is still no official confirmation that they would adhere to the annex of the agreement. For that purpose, TAV requested a loan from EBRD (European bank for Reconstruction and Development) amounting to 45 million Euros and from EIB (European Investment bank) amounting to 80 million Euros. The banks are expected to make the decision about the loans in October when the boards of directors convene.

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