United Group agrees to buy Bulgaria’s Vivacom

Balkan telecoms and media company United Group, owned by BC Partners, has agreed to acquire Bulgaria’s leading telecoms operator Vivacom for an undisclosed sum. Reuters, however, reported that Vivacom’s enterprise value has been estimated by market sources at around 1.2 billion euros.

“Vivacom is a well-run company with strong management and I am excited at the opportunities we have to build an even stronger business,” said Victoriya Boklag, CEO of United Group. “Bulgaria is an attractive market and this acquisition will enable us to diversify the group further. United Group has a great track record in acquiring and successfully integrating businesses, with more than 100 acquisitions since our inception.”

Spas Roussev, chairman of the supervisory board of Vivacom, added: “This transaction is a great success and a great opportunity for Vivacom, its clients, and more generally for Bulgaria. Thanks to great efforts of all, Vivacom has become one of the most successful European telecom companies. It now welcomes as new shareholders one of the most successful global investors with significant presence in Europe and North America, BC Partners. Vivacom will play a big role in the future development of United Group, their leading regional telecom and media platform.”

As part of the deal, VTB Capital, a leading player in the Russian private equity market, is fully divesting its stake in Vivacom.

“VTB Capital joined the VTL consortium to invest in Vivacom in 2015, and together with its co-investors and new company management managed to substantially increase Vivacom’s enterprise value and maintain its leading positions in the Bulgarian market, which helped generate strong interest for the asset. United Group is an established media and telecommunications market player in South Eastern Europe, and its acquisition of Vivacom once again underscores the Bulgarian operator’s leading market positions and a promising outlook.  We are confident that the company will continue its sustainable growth under the new ownership,” the company said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020, subject to conditions, including receipt of applicable anti-trust approvals.