The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has acquired an indirect equity stake in SOF Connect, the company managing Bulgaria’s Sofia Airport (SOF) via a concession agreement with the Bulgarian government.

The bank will invest around $88.07m (€74.3m), including a $68.75m (€58m) equity investment and $19.32m (€16.3m) contingent equity exposure.

Earlier this year, EBRD issued a $59.27m (€50m) loan to SOF Connect for the development of the airport.

SOF Connect is a joint venture (JV) between Meridiam, Munich Airport (MUC) and Austrian construction firm Strabag, which commenced operations in April.

The JV has drafted an airport investment plan, which covers the construction of a new, third terminal over the next decade, as well as environmental, health and safety improvements.

SOF Connect’s majority owner Meridiam plans to make the airport more sustainable.

Under the concession agreement, the operator plans to improve corporate climate governance, along with the application of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

Sofia Airport has set a target to achieve climate neutrality by 2036.

EBRD Bulgaria director Anca Ioana Ionescu said: “We are delighted to support the development of Sofia airport as a key infrastructure asset for Bulgaria. Together with our partners, we view this as a market-based solution, with a view to achieving sustainable development.

“As an investor in Meridiam Infrastructure Eastern Europe Fund and Meridiam Infrastructure Europe III Fund, the EBRD is delighted to join its long-term partner, Meridiam, in this transaction.”

As of now, the bank has invested nearly $4.74bn (€4bn) in Bulgaria through 267 projects.

In 2019, EBRD completed the purchase of an indirect equity stake in Airport International Group, which is a concessionaire managing Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan.