Southeast Europe-focused media and telecoms player United Group was again the subject of Bloomberg reports on its future ownership, as stc, e& and a pair of private equity companies were claimed to be considering offers.

Bloomberg reported United Group controlling shareholder BC Partners was seeking non-binding bids for the company to be filed next month, with the business said to carry a value of around €8 billion.

Alongside the two Middle East-based operators, investment companies Warburg Pincus and Apax Partners were raised as potential suitors. The selling party has also reportedly contacted a number of European mobile players about the assets including Iliad, Telekom Austria and Orange.

The latest speculation comes six weeks after e& distanced itself from reports of a potential buyout of the European business.     

United Group owns a range of media, fixed and mobile assets across Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria.

BC Partners has been the majority shareholder in United Group since 2019, having bought the asset from fellow investment business KKR.

GSMA Intelligence Q1 2024 connection figures list the operator group as having an estimated 7.7 million across its four mobile markets of Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia and Slovenia. Of these, Bulgaria was the only country where it ranks in the top two by connections, with its Viacom unit leading the market.