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BC Partners, Providence Equity eye Bulgarian telco BTC - report

BC Partners, Providence Equity eye Bulgarian telco BTC - report Author: Vivacom. License: All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), September 24 (SeeNews) - Two private equity firms - London-based BC Partners and U.S.-based Providence Equity - are analysing the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) as a possible acquisition target, Bulgarian media reported on Tuesday, quoting unnamed sources. 

Ten investors have shown interest in the telecommunications company, but BTC has received only three binding offers so far, as one of them does not meet the requirements, reported. 

BC Partners is seeking to acquire BTC through one of its units - regional cable and television operator United Group, which is active in Southeast Europe. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) holds a minority stake in United Group.

BTC's current owner, a consortium led by Bulgarian businessman Spas Roussev and comprising various minority investors, including VTC Capital and Luxembourg-based Viva Telekom, acquired the telecommunications company in a 330 million euro deal concluded in August 2016.

The deal was later challenged by British Virgin Islands-registered special-purpose investment vehicle Empreno Ventures and its Luxembourg-registered 100%-owned  subsidiary LIC Telecommunications, which claimed that the sale was a sham and ought to be revised. However, in July BTC announced that England and Wales High Court (Commercial Court) has rejected the complaints.

In the first quarter of 2019, BTC's adjusted EBITDA grew by 30.5% year-on-year to 112.5 million levs, while total revenue added 5.5% to 235.2 million levs, the company has said.

BTC, which operates under the brand name Vivacom, competes with Mtel, a unit of Telekom Austria, and the local unit of Norway's Telenor.

($ =  0.90886 euro)