SOFIA Jan 28 The owners of Vivacom on
Monday offered to buy out minority shareholders in the Bulgarian
telecoms group in a deal that would value the company at about
The offer, published in Capital Daily newspaper, is 2.80
levs per share for a 5.91 percent stake, valuing the group at
about 810 million levs ($557 million).
Shares in Vivacom, the brand name of Bulgarian
Telecommunication Company (BTC) ended at 2.78 levs per share on
the Sofia bourse on Friday.
Vivacom confirmed the details of the offer, which is valid
for a month.
The offer marks the latest stage in a restructuring of the
telecoms company, which was saddled with huge debts after a 2007
buyout by U.S. insurer AIG, which subsequently sold Vivacom to
Late last year, Bulgarian banker Tsvetan Vasilev, through
his company Bromak, and Russian bank VTB Bank sealed a
1.7 billion euro restructuring deal with Vivacom creditors.
Under this deal, Bromak ended up with about 43.3 percent of
the telecoms company, VTB Bank 33.3 percent and a number of
banks 17.5 percent. This was after writing off 1 billion euros
of debt. The new owners VTB and Bromak pledged to delist the
company 18 months after sealing the deal.
Vivacom, which has 20 percent of the market in terms of
clients, said on Monday its net profit rose almost three-fold to
20.3 million levs last year, mainly due to cost cuts and a rise
in revenues from mobile phone services.
Vivacom competes with Telekom Austria's Mobitel
and Globul, part of Greece's OTE.
($1 = 1.4518 Bulgarian levs)
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova. Editing by Jane Merriman)