EQT acquires two cable operators in Bulgaria

30 Oct 2009

Swedish private equity group EQT has announced that its UK-based fund EQT V has bought Bulgarian cable TV providers CableTEL and Eurocom for more than EUR200 million (USD295 million) and will merge them early next year. Under the terms of the deal EQT will acquire 100% of Eurocom from US-based equity fund Warburg Pincus and 70% of CableTel from US entrepreneur Gene Phillips. CableTel’s current shareholder Ron Finley, who has a 30% stake, will transfer his interest in the new entity and invest further equity. The cablecos have already received permission from the Bulgarian authorities to be merged.

The enlarged company will have a foothold in both Bulgaria and neighbouring Macedonia, and will boast an annual revenue of around EUR70 million and have around 500,000 households connected to its network. CableTel currently operates a hybrid coaxial-optical cable network in Bulgaria, with coverage of 23 cities. It also has operations in Macedonia. Eurocom, meanwhile, owns a cable network with 90% coverage of the capital as well as coverage of several other towns.

EQT has previously developed Swedish cable TV operators StjarnTV and Com Hem. Currently the group owns German cable TV operator Kabel BW.

Bulgaria, Blizoo (Bulgaria)