United Group seeks EU Commission’s nod to acquire Bulgaria’s BTC

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Bulgaria telecom VIVACOM

The European Commission said that Dutch-based telecommunications and media company United Group, owned by UK private equity firm BC Partners, is seeking its anti-trust approval to acquire Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC).

The Commission has set April 3 as a provisional deadline for its decision, it said in a notice on Friday.

In November last year, United Group said that it has agreed to acquire BTC, which operates under the Vivacom brand, but did not disclose the price of the transaction. Subsequently, the company announced plans to place some 1.795 billion euro ($2 billion) worth of bonds to finance the acquisition and refinance existing debt instruments.

BTC, which has over 1.8 million customers in Bulgaria, competes with A1 Bulgaria, a unit of A1 Telekom Austria, and Telenor Bulgaria, a unit of Czech-owned PPF Group.