Ljubljana, 19 October (STA) - The Transport Ministry received no bids for the offered 30-year lease of the state-owned Edvard Rusjan Maribor Airport until the Monday deadline, which is the second time the call for bids failed. Under the law, the ministry is now allowed to enter direct negotiations with potential lease holders.
The Transport Ministry published on 9 July the first call for bids for the lease on the use of the infrastructure and the management of the airport, but no bidders applied by the 7 September deadline. The second call for bids was published on 1 October.
"The act on physical assets of the state, regions and municipalities now allows us to lease immobile and mobile property of the state in a direct contract, which can be signed after price negotiations," the ministry told the STA, adding that potential lease holders would be soon invited to start negotiations.
The airport is currently rented by Aerodrom Maribor, a company owned by the bankrupt car-seat covers maker Prevent. The contract on the use of the airport infrastructure between the state and Aerodrom Maribor expires at the end of 2010.
Matjaz Sonc, the boss of Aerodrom Maribor, which owns a part of real estate at the airport, said after the failure of the first call for bids that the conditions of the call were unacceptable.
Postal services provider Posta Slovenije was also interested in the long-term lease, and was the only potential lease holder to attend in July an inspection of the airport as part of the call for bids. Unofficially, the company is also not satisfied with the conditions.