30 March 2013
The Seventh Conference on Strategic Infrastructure was held on the 29th March at the Sheraton Hotel Sofia. New Balkans attended the event, and this article offers a synopsis of the event and highlights the main legal developments that will affect the sector in the coming year.
The Conference opened with a speech from the President of Bulgaria, Mr Plevneliev, and consisted of seven panels which covered:
Overall, the picture painted of Bulgarian Infrastructure was an overwhelmingly positive one: for example, the Road Infrastructure panel focused on 260 km of highway currently under construction. By the end of 2020, an additional 460 of strategic roads are to be finalised. With regards to railway infrastructure, projects to be concluded by 2020 include the modernisation the following railways: Sofia – Plovdiv; Plovdiv – Burgas; Sofia station and Sofia intermodal terminal and Ruse intermodal terminal; the rehabilitation of Ruse- Varna and Mezdra – Gorna Oriahovica; the modernisation of Ruse – Dimitrovgrad and the overall modernisation of railway stations.
An important and persistently occurring theme throughout the conference was a shift towards using public-private partnerships as a means to raise necessary funds in all spheres. At present, the PPP draft legislation in Bulgaria is in Parliament for consideration, but it is predicted that it will come into force by the end of 2012.
The introduction of the new legislation presents a good opportunity for private companies in the sector.
For a detailed analysis of Infrastructure legislation and information on the legal services we offer, please consult our NBLO Infrastructure Note.
Acquisition of City Center Sofia by Heitman Investment fund for €101.5m Acquisition of CCS
NBLO advised the investment fund Heitman European Property III on the €101.5m acquisition from Equest of the 'City Center Sofia', the most established and profitable urban shopping centre in Bulgaria. Since then, NBLO has been the sole provider of ongoing legal services to the Center, involving a variety of largely commercial property issues.
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