Zagreb Airport upgrade reaches financial close

The 30-year agreement will see a consortium led by Aéroports de Paris, Bouygues, Marguerite Fund and IFC invest €331m for the construction and maintenance of a new terminal in Croatia’s capital.

A concession to scale up, operate and maintain Zagreb Airport has reached financial close, shareholders in operating company MZLZ announced today.

A consortium formed of France’s operator Aéroports de Paris Management and developer Bouygues Bâtiment International, Turkish operator TAV Airports, Croatian developer Viadukt, the EU’s Marguerite Fund and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have just signed agreements with lenders and the Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure that will kick-start the project.

The contract includes the financing, design and construction of a new, 65,000 square-metre terminal to replace the current one, for a forecasted cost of €243 million. The new facility will boost the airport’s passenger capacity from 2 million to 5 million annually.

The deal also involves a concession to operate the entire airport for almost 30 years, which includes the runways, the current passenger terminal (during the construction period), the new terminal once completed, the cargo terminal, car parks and future property developments. Maintenance of the overall infrastructure is expected to need around €88 million worth of investments over the period.

MZLZ was chosen as preferred bidder for Zagreb Airport’s upgrade in March last year, before reaching commercial close a month later. Its largest shareholders are Aéroports de Paris, Bouygues and Marguerite Fund, which each own 20.77 percent, followed by IFC (17.58 percent), TAV Airports (15 percent) and Viadukt (5.11 percent).

Financial lenders to the project comprise the European Investment Bank (EIB), IFC, Unicredit Bank Austria and Deutsche Bank.

Construction works, which are due to last three years, will be carried out by Bouygues and Viadukt. Following Larnaka and Paphos in Cyprus and Iqaluit in Canada, this is now the fourth airport terminal to be built by Bouygues as a public-private partnership (PPP), within a project company in which it is one of the major shareholders.

Aéroports de Paris and TAV Airports will be in charge of operating and maintaining the airport, a fresh addition to the respective portfolios of 21 and 12 airports they already operate internationally.