Bulgaria’s leading pay-TV operator Bulsatcom has been acquired by the entrepreneur Spas Rusev for between €120-130 million.
Broadband TV News has obtained confirmation of the transaction, which was initially reported by Capital. The other contender to buy Bulsatcom was the Czech Republic’s PPF Group, which has extensive interests in the media and telecom industries across Central and Eastern Europe. According to Capital, Rusev was chosen by the company’s creditors, with the deal dragging on for over a year after a challenge by the operator’s founder and shareholder Plamen Genchev. This took the form of an arbitration case in London and bankruptcy petition in Sofia but ultimately failed to stop the transaction.
Capital adds that two and a half years ago a new management was appointed, led by the executive director Stanislav Georgiev, whose main goal was to restore Bulsatcom operationally and stop the outflow of subscribers with the addition of new services and a stronger transition to IPTV. With the recovery complete, the shareholders aimed to exit their investment over time. The investors in Bulsatcom UK Holdco are the BlackRock and Blantyre Capital funds, the Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Plamen Genchev and another fund – Integral.
Broadband TV News notes that Rusev was formerly a major investor in the Bulgarian telco Vivacom (BTC), which was acquired by United Group in 2020. He finally left its supervisory board in August this year.