The government on Thursday gave the green light for the Zagreb airport operator MZLZ to borrow €19.5 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to cover its operating costs.
Explaining the reason for the loan, the state secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Josip Bilaver, said at a cabinet meeting that the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was still visible in the air transport industry, which is seriously threatening operations at the Zagreb airport.
In 2020, the airport has seen a huge decline in turnover of 73 percent and a fall in revenue of €58 million. The concessionaire is taking steps to cut costs and rationalise business in its efforts to cope with the crisis. It has managed to get approval from its current creditors for a new loan from the EBRD, one of its largest creditors. The main purpose of the loan is to cover the airport’s operating costs, Bilaver said.
One of the key terms of the loan is a ban on the division of profit among shareholders as well as on the payment of the debt of concession-holders to shareholders in the amount of €38.5 million for the period from 2020 to 2022 based on a refinancing model.
Given the general situation in the air transport industry where two concessionaires-shareholders come from – Aéroports de Paris Management and TAV Airports – and the fact that one of the shareholders, Viadukt d.d., has been placed in official receivership, those concessionaires are exempt from contributing 30 percent of the total financing, the government said in its explanation.