Bulgaria’s third largest operator Vivacom has reportedly been sold in an auction for approximately €730 million, including €400 million debt, to local businessman Spas Roussev.
Reuters reports the €330 million winning bid was confirmed by Russian investment bank VTB Capital late last week, which launched the process, and an official announcement is expected once a share-purchase agreement is signed.
Vivacom’s sale comes after the collapse of Bulgaria’s fourth largest lender Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), of which majority shareholder Tsvetan Vassilev also owned an 80 per cent stake in the operator through his Bromak Telecom Invest Company, as well as a consortium arrangement with VTB Capital.
Winning bidder Roussev, formerly a real estate investor with experience in the telecoms sector, reportedly beat off competition from Greek-based Olympia Group, which was bidding in combination with hedge fund Third Point.
The deal, which will require approval from both Bulgarian and EU regulators, is also set to be contested by Russian businessmen Dimitry Kosarev.
Kosarev claims to already own Vassilev’s stake in Vivacom, and will dispute the results of the auction legally, according to Reuters.
Vivacom has more than 3.1 million connections, according to GSMA Intelligence.