A total of ten financial investors have reportedly shown interest in acquiring Bulgarian telecoms operator Vivacom (BTC), though only three of these are said to have submitted offers for the telco, Capital writes. The news outlet cited sources familiar with the matter as saying that one of the bids did not meet the requirements, however, leaving London-based BC Partners and Providence Equity as front-runners for the company; binding bids from the two funds are now expected to be lodged by mid-October. BC Partners is said to be bidding through United Group, which it acquired from KKR last year and whose assets already include Serbia Broadband (SBB).
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in mid-2019 Vivacom majority owner Spas Roussev confirmed that the telco was up for sale, with Lazard appointed to sell the business, valued at around EUR1.2 billion (USD1.35 billion). Vivacom is currently owned by holding company Viva Telecom Bulgaria, itself a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based InterV Investment, which in turn is wholly owned by Viva Telecom (Luxembourg), whose main shareholder (46%) is listed as Spas Roussev (via Viva Edge Telecom). Other minority investors are listed as follows: VTB Bank, Delta Capital Investments (controlled by Milen Velchev, Georgi Velchev and Krasimir Katev), Michael Tennenbaum and companies managed by Mezzanine Management Central Europe II. The telco was sold to its current owners in late 2015, following an auction triggered by a default on a loan repayment to VTB Capital by a Luxembourg holding company.