AIG Buys BTC Stake

AIG Global Investment Group signs an agreement with Novator and Viva for the purchase of Viva's 65% stake in Bulgarian Telecommunications Company

May 3, 2007

2 Min Read

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Novator and Viva Ventures GmbH (“Viva”) have today signed an agreement with AIG Global Investment Group ("AIGGIG") (through its member company AIG Capital Partners, Inc.) for AIGGIG to acquire Viva’s 65% stake in the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company AD (“BTC”), the former state-owned telecommunications company. Furthermore, AIGGIG is expected to secure shortly an additional 25% of the shares in BTC as part of this transaction. BTC is currently listed on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.

The 65% stake in BTC is currently owned by Viva and Novator has the option to buy all the shares in Viva. The transfer of shares in BTC to AIGGIG will take place on or after 11th June 2007 when restrictions, defined in the privatization agreement from 2004 regarding Viva’s sale of shares in BTC, have been lifted. The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including the approval of regulatory and competition authorities. After closing of the acquisition and in compliance with Bulgarian legislation, AIGGIG will launch a tender offer for the remaining BTC shares.

The acquisition price is BGN11.25 (€5.75) per share which equals BGN2,112 million (€1,080 million) for the 65% stake, which includes the recently proposed dividend of BGN0.55 (€0.28) per share. This would value the entire equity of BTC at BGN3,249 million (€1,661 million). The acquisition is believed to be the largest private M&A transaction in Bulgaria to date.

Pierre Mellinger, who has overall responsibility for AIG Capital Partners’ private equity activity in Central and Eastern Europe, said: "We are attracted by the growth prospects, nationwide footprint, strong management team and considerable diversification opportunities that BTC provides. The acquisition of BTC fits well into our strategy of investments in this growing region and builds on our extensive previous experience in Bulgaria and the telecom sector. AIGGIG looks forward to supporting BTC in its future development as the country's leading telecommunications provider."

Bulgarian Telecommunications Co. plc

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