Bulgaria Competition Watchdog OKs Sale of Vivacom

Business | January 8, 2016, Friday // 19:02
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Competition Watchdog OKs Sale of Vivacom Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian Competition Protection Commission has given the green light to the acquisition of Vivacom, a key Bulgarian telecoms operator, by Bulgarian businessman Spas Rusev.

Vivacom was sold in mid-November, after a marathon bidding, to Rusev, a Bulgarian businessman who owns newly-established, Luxembourg-based Viva Telecom. Apart from paying EUR 330 M for the company, Rusev also agreed to pay off its debts at EUR 400 M.

The sale process follows the non-payment of a EUR 150 M loan to Luxembourg-based Investment S.a.r.l (InterV), the indirect holding company of BTC EAD (Vivacom).

Russian VTB bank's London-based investment arm, VTB Capital, which was a security agent for the loan, was the seller.

The commission for its part was to rule whether the deal on the key telecom would result in a dominant position for any actor in the the Bulgarian telecoms market.

According to the watchdog, the entities involved in the deal are not active in the same markets or "tightly connected neighboring market, one can conclude there are no markets on which the deal will have an impact" and also that "the structure of these markets" will not be affected.

The decision can be appealed within 14 days of the ruling's publication.

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Tags: Vivacom, Spas Rusev, VTB Capital, InterV, Luxembourg, telecom
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