Two Bidding in Sale of Bulgaria's Vivacom
There are two bidders to acquire Bulgaria's Vivacom, in an auction that started Thursday morning and has been going on for more than 12 hours.
Bulgarian daily 24 Chasa wrote Thursday evening it was "nearly a hundred percent certain" the two candidates were Spas Rusev (a Bulgarian) and Panos Germanos (a Greek citizen who joined forces with hedge fund Third Point).
A Reuters report, citing "two sources", suggests the same names.
Earlier reports by Capital weekly had suggested the bidders might be three.
Ten hours into the bidding, financial analysts suggest each bidder was ready to give EUR 300 M, up from a deposit of EUR 20 M.
Placed in separate rooms somewhere in London, the two started bidding at 11:00 GMT (13:00 EET). Timing has not been specified by the organizers and it is not yet known whether it will go into the small hours of Friday or will be stopped at midnight to be renewed the day after.
VTB Capital, the investment-banking arm of Russian VTB bank, announced it was launching the sale of a vivacom after a Luxembourg-based indirect holding company that controlled Vivacom defaulted on a EUR 150 M bridge loan.
24 Chasa quotes a source from Bulgaria's Deposit Insurance Fund as saying Bulgaria will try to get some EUR 150-160 M in assets that Sofia says are in reality the funds of depositors at Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), once Bulgaria's fourth-largest lender which collapsed last year. Authorities are now arguing that businessamn Tsvetan Vasilev, who was KTB's majority shareholder, acquired his 43% share at Vivacom using depositors' money, something which Vasilev denies.
VTB Capital is the second-largest shareholder at Vivacom (33.33%).
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