Vivacom sold to Spas Roussev for USD330m

23 Nov 2015

Bulgarian telco Vivacom (registered as Bulgarian Telecommunications Company [BTC]) was reportedly sold to Spas Roussev, a financial investor backed by VTB Capital (the investment-banking arm of Russia’s VTB), for EUR330 million (USD351 million) in an auction held last week, Capital writes. The sale price values the Bulgarian telco at EUR700 million, when factoring in the existing debt of the company. According to unconfirmed reports, Vivacom will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Viva Edge, itself majority-owned by Roussev, VTB (equity share of no more than 20%) and Michael Tannenbaum (minority stake). The deal is subject to EU regulatory approval and is expected to be finalised in Q1 2016. Going forward, the company is likely to be sold again in the next year to a strategic investor.

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 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. Three potential buyers placed bids for Vivacom in mid-November: 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 equity fund CVC); and Roussev, though Schneider’s bid was subsequently disqualified for ‘non-conformity with the procedure’ despite valuing Vivacom at EUR850 million.

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 (a subsidiary of VTB Capital) (33.3%) and former creditors of the telecom led by Mr Tannenbaum (23.43%).

Bulgaria, Vivacom (BTC)