Ernst&Young to advise on Vivacom sale

21 Sep 2015

UK-based consulting company Ernst & Young has reportedly been selected as financial adviser for the potential sale of Bulgarian telco Vivacom (registered as Bulgarian Telecommunications Company [BTC]), News agency Capital reports. Whilst the consulting company is said to have issued invitations to investors to participate in the sale process, the divestment of the former Bulgarian incumbent is likely to generate little to no interest, due to Vivacom’s ambiguous ownership structure.

TeleGeography notes that as of June 2015, Vivacom was 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: LIC Telecommunications (previously known as SHCO 79, 43.3%), Crusher Investment (33.3%) and former creditors of the telecom (23.43%).

In March 2015 Luxembourg-registered investment fund LIC33 group agreed to acquire a 43.3% share in Vivacom and several other companies – including telecom infrastructure firm NURTS, multiplex operator First Digital, research company Garb, and military plants Dunarit and Avionams – for a token amount of EUR1 (USD1.13) from Tsvetan Vasilev (majority shareholder of SHCO 79), in exchange for the new investor’s commitment to refinance all debts owed to banks, estimated at roughly EUR900 million. However, in July 2015 LIC33’s majority owner Pierre Louvrier pulled out of the deal and the assets – worth EUR840 million – reverted to their previous owner.

Bulgaria, Vivacom (BTC)