The Bulgarian Telecommunication Company (BTC) reported yesterday that its shareholders have agreed to take out a EUR350 million loan to restructure debt and finance future operations. BTC, majority owned by US private equity fund Advent through Austria-based Viva Ventures, said most of the capital would go to refinance a EUR285 million credit facility obtained in April 2005. Citibank is managing the new six-year loan.
Earlier this month, Icelandic company Novator, controlled by tycoon Thor Bjorgolfsson, negotiated an option to buy 65% of BTC from Advent, although under its privatisation contract the American fund cannot sell its shares in BTC before 11 June 2007. To acquire the 65% stake, Bjorgolfsson must receive approval from Bulgaria’s Post-Privatisation Control Agency.