Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers (CoM) has authorised giving up the state’s so-called ‘golden share’ in incumbent telco Vivacom (formerly Bulgarian Telecommunications Company, BTC), a move which is scheduled to be finalised at the company’s next general meeting on 30 September, local newspaper Novinite reports. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that the government currently possesses one ‘preferential share (second class)’ in Vivacom through the Ministry of Transport, IT and Communications (MTITC), giving it the power to veto decisions at the mobile, fixed line, broadband and pay-TV operator. Novinite notes that the CoM reached its decision based on reports from telecoms minister Danail Papazov and the country’s economic ministry. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Vivacom’s proposed move to turn the golden share into registered shares was the top agenda item at its general shareholder meeting of 16 September 2013. Provided that its holding company Viva Telecom Bulgaria acquires all shares in the telco, the company will also change its legal status to a stock company, and will be de-listed from the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (CBSE). GlobalComms says that by 1 July 2013 Viva Telecom – owned by Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank (CCBank), Russia’s VTB Capital (part of VTB Bank) and former creditors – held 99.79% of the telco.
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