Three potential buyers are said to have placed bids for Bulgarian telco Vivacom (registered as Bulgarian Telecommunications Company [BTC]), following the launch of the sale process of the operator by VTB Capital – the investment-banking arm of Russia’s VTB – last month, domestic news source Capital reports. The three candidates were revealed as Greece’s Olympia Group (backed by US-based hedge fund Third Point); Marc Schneider (co-founder of European cable group UPC, backed by US-based private fund CVC); and Spas Roussev (backed by VTB Capital). The auction will reportedly be held next week, with the minimum price at the auction to be set equal to the highest of the three received bids.
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate last month, VTB Capital was able to launch the sale process as it acted as a facility and security agent for a EUR150 million (USD165.6 million) bridge financing loan given to InterV Investment, a Luxembourg-based indirect holding company of Vivacom. The loan was secured via a share pledge of 100% of InterV shares, which were all transferred to VTB Capital after InterV defaulted on its loan repayments in May 2015. VTB Capital AD’s CEO Milen Veltchev said: ‘We hope to see this process resolved swiftly … We are confident in recovering the amount owed. Vivacom remains a robust business with solid financials and healthy balance sheet.’
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%).