United acquires Vivacom for €1.2bn

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United Group, the South Eastern European telco, has agreed to acquire Vivacom, the largest telecoms operator in Bulgaria, for €1.2 billion.

This acquisition marks the second transaction since New York and London headquartered investment firm BC Partners’ March 2019 acquisition of United Group, in what was one of the largest ever transactions for the region. United Group says the acquisition will accelerate its growth, expand its geographic reach and cement its position as the industry leader in the region. United Group already operates in six countries in the region.

Vivacom provides services to over 1.8 million unique customers. The company was the first telecommunications company in Bulgaria and today provides advanced services including fibre broadband, mobile communications and digital TV to private and commercial customers.

Victoriya Boklag, CEO of United Group, said: “Vivacom is a well-run company with strong management and I am excited at the opportunities we have to build an even stronger business. Bulgaria is an attractive market and this acquisition will enable us to diversify the Group further. United Group has a great track record in acquiring and successfully integrating businesses, with more than 100 acquisitions since our inception.”

Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners, added: “When we invested in United Group, we identified its business model, technology and regional leadership as key drivers for organic growth, accelerated by acquiring and integrating local companies. With Vivacom, we are pleased to acquire a dynamic telecom operator in a vibrant economy and a growing market that enables us to expand our geographic reach across Europe.”

Spas Roussev, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vivacom, commented: “This transaction is a great success and a great opportunity for Vivacom, its clients, and more generally for Bulgaria. Thanks to great efforts of all, Vivacom has become one of the most successful European telecom companies. It now welcomes as new shareholders one of the most successful global investors with significant presence in Europe and North-America, BC Partners. Vivacom will play a big role in the future development of United Group, their leading regional telecom and media platform.”

The companies expect the deal to be completed in the Q2 2020, subject to competition approval.


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