The Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) has initiated an investigation into an alleged ‘change in ownership’ in Vivacom (registered as Bulgarian Telecommunications Company [BTC]) without prior authorisation from the antitrust watchdog, as required by law. The CPC highlighted that the Technology Center – Institute of Microelectronics (TC-IME) claimed to be the final company on the Bulgarian side in possession of the majority stake in the telecoms operator. In November 2014 TC-IME concluded an agreement with now defunct CCBank, according to which all CCBank shares in Technotel Invest and Bromak Telecom Invest were transferred to TC-IME.
TeleGeography notes that Vivacom is wholly-owned by Viva Telecom Bulgaria, itself a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based V2 Investment via holding company InterV Investment. V2 Investment meanwhile is wholly-owned by V Telecom Investment, with its main shareholders listed as follows: Bromak Telecom Invest (43.3%), VTB Capital (33.3%) and former creditors of the telecom (23.43%).
However, following CCBank’s closure in mid-2014, in July Bromak Telecom Invest reportedly transferred its stake in V Telecom Investment to SHCO 79, also registered in Luxembourg. TC-IME pointed out that it was not informed of the transfer of Vivacom’s shares to SHCO 79 and requested an inquiry into the deal.