United Group takes control of Broadband Montenegro
October 16, 2014
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
United Group, a regional cable and DTH operator active in the former Yugoslavia, has become the majority shareholder of MMDS operator Broadband Montenegro (BBM).
Through its Serbian cable TV unit SBB, United Group purchased 49.4 per cent of BBM shares on the Montenegro Stock Exchange (Montenegroberza) for €2.47 million, according to local media reports. Some 34.57 million BBM shares were traded at a price of €0.0715 per share, below market value.
The shares were sold by former BBM shareholders Jovan Gordijan (21.42 per cent), Bela Čeprnjak (14.28 per cent), the closed investment fund Eurofond (13.99 per cent) and the open investment fund Eurofond (0.29 per cent).
SBB purchased the shares through Luxembourg-registered Slovenia Broadband, which was already the third biggest shareholder of BBM with 14.29 per cent. With the latest transaction, United Group now controls 64 per cent of BBM.
Montenegrin businessman Veselin Barovic, through his company Comersa, remains as minority shareholder of BBM with 35.7 per cent.
BBM currently has over 20.000 TV and internet subscribers and covers 11 municipalities in Montenegro.
United Group is also in the process of acquiring Bosnian cable TV group M&H Company, a deal said to be worth €23 million.
United Group is owned by US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, with EBRD as a co-investor. Its assets include triple-play providers SBB (Serbia) and Telemach (Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina); Total TV, a DTH platform active in all countries of the former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro), as well as OTT platform NetTVPlus for the former Yugoslav diaspora.