Bulgaria’s Nova TV sold to local businessman

Bulgarian businessman and chairman of the country’s Confederation of Industrial Employees Kiril Domuschiev has won an auction to acquire Nova TV, one of the country’s two biggest television networks, Bulgarian media reports.

Nova Broadcasting Group held a 30-40 per cent share of the Bulgarian television market and a share of approximately 40-50 per cent in the value-based advertising market in 2018.

Other businessmen including Spas Rusev, the largest shareholder of Vivacom and the owner of Czech-based investment group PPF, Petr Kellner, who recently acquired Telenor’s assets in Bulgaria, were also interested in buying the TV network.

Mr Kellner’s bid for 95 per cent of Nova, which valued the company at 185 million euros, had been accepted by the current owner, the Swedish group MTG, only to be rejected by the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC), Bulgaria’s anti-trust body. The acquisition would have provided Mr Kellner’s media group with competitive advantage on the market that would have allowed them to increase prices, change existing contracts or restrict access to the market, the CPC said in its ruling.

The amount that Mr Domuschiev will pay to acquire the network has not yet been disclosed.