Vivacom majority owners make buyout offer

Vivacom majority owners make buyout offer

The owners of Bulgaria’s Vivacom have offered to buy out minority shareholders in a deal valuing the troubled telco at $557 million.

The offer of 2.80levs per share for a 5.91% stake was first published in the Capital Daily newspaper. Vivacom confirmed the offer and said that it was valid for a month.

Vivacom has gone through several stages of restructuring after amounting large debts. A buyout by US insurer AIG in 2007 was followed by a sale to PineBridge Investments.

There was also speculation that Turkcell would buy out the company last year but an offer did not materialise. Instead Turkcell decided to bid for Vivacom’s rival, OTE-owned Globul.

Towards the end of 2012, Bulgaria’s Bromak Bank and Russia’s VTB Bank struck a €1.7 billion restructuring deal with Vivacom’s creditors.

Under the agreement, Bromak received 43.3% of the company and VTB 33.3%, with 17.5% going to other banks. Bromak and VTB pledged to delist the company within 18 months of striking the deal.

Vivacom is Bulgaria’s third ranked wireless operator with 19.7% market share in September 2012, according to TeleGeography. The former state-owned telco competes with Telekom Austria-owned MobilTel and Globul in the wireless market.

In Bulgaria’s fixed broadband market Vivacom held 28.5% market share in September 2012, placing it some distance in front of second placed Blizoo with 15.7% market share.

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