AIG wins BTC stake in EUR1.08 billion deal

3 May 2007

Icelandic billionaire Thor Bjorgolfsson has agreed to sell his 65% option on BTC to an investment arm of insurance giant AIG. The deal for the controlling stake was worth EUR1.08 billion (USD1.47 billion), valuing the company at EUR1.66 billion. Bjorgolfsson’s call option in BTC gives him the right to buy a 65% stake in the company acquired by private equity firm Advent International through its investment arm Viva Ventures in a 2004 privatisation. AIG beat Saudi Oger Telecom, Turkish cellco Turkcell, US private equity fund Mid Europa Partners and a consortium of private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus for the deal. AIG Global Investment Group is expected to acquire a further 25% of BTC as part of the agreement. The new owner will exercise the option on or after 11 June, when the three-year ban on selling the controlling stake expires. Once the deal is approved by regulatory bodies and shares change hands, AIG plans to buy out outstanding shares.

Bulgaria, Vivacom (BTC)