An investment company controlled by the owner of Bulgarian operator Vivacom agreed to acquire Telekom Albania from OTE Group for €50 million.

Greece-based OTE Group, which is 45 per cent owned by Deutsche Telekom, confirmed the sale to Albania Telecom Invest after months of speculation on the identity of potential suitors for Telekom Albania.

Albania Telecom Invest is a venture formed by Vivacom’s controlling shareholder Spas Roussev and entrepreneur Elvin Guri. Media reports in October 2018 named Vivacom as one of three potential buyers for the operator, alongside Telekom Srbija and PPF-owned Telenor Bulgaria.

Confirming the deal, OTE Group chairman and CEO Michael Tsamaz said the sale was a “strategic decision” which was in line with the group’s priorities and growth plans.

“The acquisition of the company by a strong and entrepreneurial investment group ensures its growth and creates the conditions to further strengthen its market position.”

GSMA Intelligence estimates for Q4 2018 place Telekom Albania as the country’s second-largest operator by connections behind Vodafone’s local unit, with a 39 per cent market share.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the first half of this year.