The biggest congress center in Serbia, Sava Centar in Belgrade, has been offered to investors once again
, in order for a partner for reconstruction and management to be found.
Following the last year’s failure of the first public invitation for a partner, the City of Belgrade gave a new chance to investors, as per its previous announcement
. Whether this invitation succeeds will be known no sooner than early March.
This time as well, the founding of a joint business entity for the purpose of reconstruction and management of the congress center, in which the City of Belgrade would own 51% of the capital and the private partner the remaining 49%, has been offered. The City of Belgrade, as said, would invest only property in the capital of the joint company, whereas the partner would be obliged to invest adequate funds in line with its bid.
The reconstruction entails a full renovation of the congress infrastructure with a special focus on the possibility of building new features, whereas the management requires professionals with experience in running congress centers of a similar size.
Accordingly, potential partners with operating income of at least EUR 20 million in the past financial year and such as would provide managers with at least 10 years of experience, of which 5 in jobs of running a congress center, may apply.
The City of Belgrade will carry out the selection in two phases. In the first phase, potential partners are supposed to submit adequate proof of meeting the criteria, whereas, in the second phase, those that have met the criteria according to the commission, are supposed to submit a financial bid, that is, the amount of investments in the reconstruction of the center, a 10-year business plan and a reconstruction plan, by February 28.
As added, potential partners are expected to take in a certain number employees of the PE Sava Centar, whereas the City of Belgrade takes upon itself to handle the remaining workers.
Let us remind that two bids
at the first public invitation passed the first qualification round, those by Delta Holding and the consortium of the Nikola Tesla Airport, Energoprojekt Holding and the PE Belgrade Fair. Neither of them, however, submitted a binding bid
, even after several instances of extension of the deadline.
Previously, 3 plans were submitted at the non-binding public invitation from March 2016, with the third interested party, in addition to the said bidders, being the Slovenian company GGE ESCO, whose offer, however, was deemed incomplete.
Delta Holding once offered to invest EUR 12.5 million in the reconstruction, whereas Sava Center was to provide another EUR 12.5 million from credits. The facility was to be closed for only a year for reconstruction and equipping, and the first revenues were to be expected after four years. However, they also suggested that the distribution of the ownership of Sava Center should be agreed afterwards.
The Nikola Tesla Airport, on the other hand, was prepared to invest EUR 30 million with its partners, but had the condition of the city administration settling all the debts and waiving all the profit in the first 12 years of operations, until the invested funds are returned. Following that, the city budget would be receiving 35% of the income. Aside from the existing 69,300 square meters, another 50,000 m2 would be raised in the form of a tower with 25 to 30 floors, which would contain a shopping mall, commercial space and hotel, whereas the topmost three floors would be open to visitors.
Mayor of Belgrade Sinisa Mali recently said that the City itself would start reconstructing Sava Centar if no one else proved to be interested in it
, and that the reconstruction would be carried out in phases if there was not enough money for the entire project.