CPC to investigate alleged change in ownership in Vivacom

15 Jan 2015

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.

Bulgaria, Vivacom (BTC)