United to Buy Bulgarian Telecoms Group Vivacom for €1.2 Billion

United Group, the private-equity backed cable company, has struck a €1.2bn deal to acquire Bulgaria’s former state owned telecoms operator Vivacom, the Financial Times reported. The sale is one of the largest deals struck by United, owned by BC Partners, to consolidate the Balkan media and communications industry. It agreed to buy Tele2 Croatia for €220m in May and has so far rolled up about 100 Balkan businesses. It comes in spite of a long-running ownership dispute around Vivacom, which is still rumbling through the courts. “Vivacom is a well-run company with strong management and I am excited at the opportunities we have to build an even stronger business,” United Group’s chief executive officer Victoriya Boklag said in a statement. The ownership dispute dates back to a 2015 auction at which Spas Roussev, a London-based Bulgarian businessman, and the London arm of Russian bank VTB took control of Vivacom after a debt default. Read more