Sweden-based East Capital Explorer has agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Estonian cableco Starman, Broadband TV News reports, with the company set to pay around EUR24 million (USD31.45 million) for the shareholding. With East Capital Explorer purchasing the stake currently owned by a consortium led by Bancroft Private Equity, it is understood that the remaining 49% stake will be held by Starman founders Peeter Kern and Indrek Kuivallik; the duo will reportedly boost their current equity stakes via a EUR5 million investment. The deal remains subject to the approval of local competition authorities, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.
In the wake of the announcement of the deal, Mr Kern confirmed that there had initially been around 30 bidders for the stake in Starman, and as previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month local telecoms firm STV was said to have agreed a double deal worth EUR37 million for Starman and 3G licensee Bravocom Mobiil. However, with East Capital Explorer having won the race for the stake, it has now been claimed STV itself could be a takeover target for the Swedish company.