BTC stake sale due by the end of month

2 Feb 2004

The on-off, on-off, on-off-then-on-again sale of Bulgarian incumbent Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) finally looks set to be resolved following the news that the government has agreed to sell 65% of the telco to Viva Ventures, a subsidiary of US private equity firm Advent International. According to local media reports, the state Privatisation Agency has accepted a bid of EUR230 million and invited Viva to sign the sale agreement on 20 February. As part of the deal Viva will add EUR50 million to the company’s basic capital and shed around 3,500 jobs by 2006. Viva was selected as the preferred bidder for the BTC stake as long ago as December 2002, but political infighting has repeatedly delayed the deal.

Bulgaria, Vivacom (BTC)