BELGRADE, April 18 Serbia has extended a
deadline for bids for a 25-year concession to operate Belgrade's
Nikola Tesla airport, the biggest in the western
Balkan region, a government official said on Tuesday.
Belgrade is required to sell off state-owned companies as
part of a three-year 1.2 billion euro loan deal with the
International Monetary Fund. The government expects the airport
deal to be worth around 400 million euros ($426.04 million).
The deadline was originally April 13 but now potential
bidders will have until May 15 to submit their proposals for
financing, development and managing of the airport, under the
terms of the extended offer, published in the government's
"The reason for the extension (of the deadline) is that we
wanted to give interested companies more time to prepare their
offers," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
He did not elaborate.
Last month, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that 27
companies had expressed interest in bidding.
The Nikola Tesla airport, located 17 kilometres (10 miles)
from Belgrade's city centre, serviced 4.92 million passengers in
2016, or 3 percent more than a year earlier. In the first nine
months of 2016, it reported a net profit of 2.4 billion dinars,
a 13 percent increase on the previous year.
Under terms of the offer, prospective bidders, companies or
consortia, must not have more than a 20 percent stake in another
airport within 450 kilometres of Nikola Tesla, with passenger
numbers above 1 million in 2016.
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Jane Merriman)