Vivacom up for sale?

10 Jun 2014

Viva Telecom, a Luxembourg-registered holding company established by CCBank, VTB Capital and other shareholders, is reportedly looking to dispose of its stake in Bulgaria’s former monopoly telco Vivacom (previously Bulgarian Telecommunications Company, BTC) within the next two months, Club Z reports citing unnamed investors in London. According to the article, a Vivacom prospectus has been distributed to would-be investors as the current owners seek to restructure the company’s debts.

According to TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2012 Vivacom’s secured lenders agreed to a takeover offer from CCBank and Russia’s VTB Capital (part of VTB Bank), and the transaction was duly completed after receiving clearance from the High Court in London in September 2012. CCBank, VTB Capital and creditors obtained 94.09% of the BTC shares, via newly formed holding company Viva Telecom Bulgaria. Following the transaction, the telco’s debts were reduced from EUR1.7 billion (USD2.31 billion) to EUR588 million.

In January 2013, the new majority shareholders launched a tender offer for the remaining shares, in compliance with Bulgarian legislation. By 1 July 2013, Viva Telecom obtained shares from 58 of the company’s public shareholders, thus increasing its stake to 99.79% of the company. In line with the Viva Telecom statute, the government is in possession of one preferential share (second class) through the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC), which has the power to veto decisions. On 5 November 2013 the company changed its legal status to a stock company and was de-listed from the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (CBSE).

Bulgaria, Vivacom (BTC)