PAC-Duty Free Retains AIB Duty Free Shops

PAC-Duty Free SAL will retain the management and operation of the duty-free shops at Beirut International Airport after the third call for tenders. PGB image

The third time will be a priori successful in terms of the management and operation of duty-free shops at Beirut International Airport. On Tuesday, outgoing Public Works and Transportation Minister Ali Hamieh announced that PAC-Duty Free SAL had won the third auction organized to award this contract, following the cancellation of the first two procedures launched in 2022. Thus, this result allows the company that won the second auction to remain in place with a significant difference in operating conditions: thus, it will have to pay the income due to the state in dollars, while the previous contract allowed it to do so. pounds. The amount due each year is $38.2 million plus a flat rate of $3.5 per passenger. This competition, announced on December 21, the results of which were published on January 13 and in which only PAC entered, included a reserve price of $37 million.

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In charge of this space since 2002, after several updates and tender announcements, PAC’s mandate expired last year, after which a new distribution procedure was to take place. Launched on June 20, the first one ended in failure. It will be canceled on July 14, the opening day of trading, when only one company applied. The specifications will then be revised and the rates still expressed in Lebanese pounds will be revised upwards to reflect the depreciation.

Faced with this remark, Autorité des Marchés Publics has reservations about the specifications in question. In particular, he considers the £800bn (minimum) reserve price “too low” and disputes that offers are made in pounds rather than dollars, while the companies responsible for operating the space will be paid in dollars. .

However, these reservations will not be taken into account and PAC will be declared the winner on 27 September following the opening of bids for this second call for tenders announced on 19 August. According to the minutes of this auction, PAC offered to pay the state 1,120 billion Lebanese pounds per year, while InterWorld SARL, the only company participating in this first auction, offered a lower amount, equivalent to 1 trillion pounds. Added to these amounts is a flat rate of $3.5 per passenger, which the winner will have to pay to the government in foreign currency.

Although the announcement was made on 27 September, it still depended on final ministerial signature and regulatory approval within 10 days to go into effect. Ultimately, this will not happen, giving way to a new competition, the amounts specified in the specifications, this time will be nominated in dollars.

Source: L Orient Le Jour

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