Financial consortium rumoured to have secured BTC stake

2 May 2007

Bulgarian daily newspaper 24 Hours is reporting that a consortium of Texas Pacific and Warburg Pincus has been selected to acquire a 65% stake in Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) from Icelandic firm Novator, backed by billionaire Thor Bjorgolfsson. According to the press report Bjorgolfsson accompanied representatives of the private equity groups to an unofficial meeting with Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev. The businessmen are also said to have also met with MPs from the ruling three-party coalition, members of the parliamentary transport committee and the head of the information technology agency Plamen Vachkov.

Yesterday the most widely circulated local daily Trud reported that a US company had acquired a majority stake in BTC, outbidding Dubai-based Oger Telecom and Turkcell. The report did not make it clear which of the two US bidders – Mid Europa Partners or the Texas Pacific Group/Warburg Pincus tie-in – was the winner.

Bulgaria, Vivacom (BTC)