The Turkish mobile operator Turkcell has still to decide on whether it will bid for a stake in the Bulgarian telco Vivacom, while dismissing as ‘groundless’ suggestions that it is preparing a bid which values Vivacom at USD1.4 billion, Novinite.com reports. The Turkish operator has released a statement which says: ‘Turkcell continues to conduct studies in various countries as part of its ongoing evaluation of investment opportunities, and Bulgarian telecom operator Vivacom is a project evaluated within this context. However, our evaluations on the project continue, and no decision has been taken by the Board of Directors in this matter.’
It has now been confirmed that three concrete bids have been entered for Vivacom, coming from the head of Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank, Tsvetan Vassilev, Icelandic businessman Thor Bjorgolfsson, and UK-based private equity firm Pamplona Capital Management. A fourth bid is expected within days, local sources suggest, although further details have not been disclosed. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Vivacom is the largest fixed line operator in Bulgaria and is currently 90%-owned by PineBridge Investments, a unit of Hong Kong-based telco PCCW.