United Group, a telco and media operator in Southeast Europe, majority owned by BC Partners, has announced the completion of its acquisition of Vivacom. This follows the approval of the deal by the European Commission in April 2020 and the signing of the agreement in November 2019, when United Group won the tender to acquire the leading telecommunications company in Bulgaria.
Vivacom was the first telecommunications company in Bulgaria and has been the largest domestic operator in terms of revenues for the last seven years.
This acquisition marks the latest milestone in United Group’s growth strategy, following the acquisition of Tele 2 Croatia earlier this year, as well as forthcoming completion of the acquisition of Greece’s pay TV, telecom and Internet provider Forthnet. Operating in both the telecoms and media sectors, the United Group platform will finish the year with over 10 million users and over 11 thousand employees.
United Group’s presence in Bulgaria will see a renewed commitment by the combined entity to drive development of the country’s telecommunications industry through further investments in talent, technology and infrastructure.
“For Vivacom, joining the United Group family is a huge opportunity to accelerate the excellent results achieved so far in the Bulgarian market. We have built a strong brand, synonymous with quality and innovation, and a modern company with over 5,000 loyal employees across the country. It is the right time to take the next step and we look forward to working and sharing our collective experience with United Group to take our services in Bulgaria to the next level”, commented Atanas Dobrev, CEO of Vivacom.
“Vivacom has achieved impressive results, not only as the largest telecom operator in Bulgaria, but also as a leader in innovation. This is the result of its strong management approach and professionalism across its workforce, and with the support and further investment from United Group, Vivacom’s growth potential in Bulgaria is significant”, said Vivacom Supervisory board director Spas Roussev.
United Group CEO, Victoriya Boklag, added: “Vivacom established its number one position in Bulgaria with excellent management, impressive financial results, technological advancements, and remarkable team collaboration. With a clear vision and strategy for the future, United Group has acquired another market leader in the region and our combined talent, experience, and scale means we can provide the newest generation telco services and best international and local content to the market of 27 million people in Southeast Europe and our diaspora across the world.”
Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Parters and Chairman of United Group concluded: “Acquiring Vivacom is an important milestone in driving the growth strategy of the United Group platform as we seek to expand our geographical presence in Europe. The Bulgarian telecoms sector is a dynamic part of a vibrant economy, which will give us a strong foothold in a key strategic market.”