After more than two years of intense negotiation, Bulgaria’s privatisation agency has signed a EUR280 million contract with Viva Ventures for the sale of 65% of Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC). Led by US private equity group Advent International, Viva won an international tender back in October 2002, but the sale has been beset by political and legal wrangling which almost brought proceedings to a halt a number of times, most recently last Friday when the two parties disagreed over the allocation of BTC’s 2003 dividend. With differences now resolved – the parties agreed to split the company’s net profit – Advent is now committed to investing up to EUR700 million in BTC’s out-moded network.
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