Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC, now branded Vivacom although it remains registered under the former name) is reportedly aiming to acquire a minority stake in its direct owner – holding company Viva Telecom Bulgaria – for EUR43 million (USD45.5 million), domestic newspaper Capital writes. According to two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the main aim of the deal is arguably to shift funds to Vivacom’s final owners – Bulgarian businessman Spas Roussev (who owns 46% of the telco), VTB’s investment-banking arm VTB Capital (20% minus one share) and Delta Capital (controlled by the managers of the Bulgarian division of VTB Capital) with 19%. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the Roussev-led consortium acquired the owner of Viva Telecom Bulgaria – Luxembourg-based holding company InterV Investments – in November 2015 for EUR330 million; the deal was finalised in August 2016, with the required funds provided by a loan from VTB itself (EUR240 million) and own financing (EUR100 million) proportionally distributed among the shareholders. It is understood that the current deal, which may see Vivacom acquire between 10% and 15% of Viva Telecom Bulgaria, is aiming to circumvent currently imposed legal prohibitions to shift dividends up the shareholding ladder.
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