UK Court OKs Bulgarian Telco Vivacom's Debt RestructuringBusiness | September 6, 2012, Thursday // 17:48| views
Tsvetan Vassilev, chairman of the supervisory board of Corporate Commercial Bank, is considered one of Bulgaria's richest men. Photo by BGNES
Bulgarian telecoms operator Vivacom obtained approval from a UK court to proceed with a EUR 1.7 B (USD 2.1 B) debt restructuring, ending two years of wrangling with lenders and various attempts to sell the company.
Mr Justice Vos approved the restructuring at a hearing at the High Court in London on Thursday, international media reported.
Under the restructuring, Russia's second-biggest bank VTB Capital and Bulgaria's Corporate Commercial Bank are buying over 70% of the company and reducing the debt to around EUR 588 M, according to details provided at the hearing.
Bulgarian lender Corporate Commercial Bank and Russian peer VTB Capital will seek to acquire a 73% stake in debt-ridden Bulgarian telco Vivacom, the company said in August.
Senior creditors, which include RBS, Deutsche Bank, UBS and Unicredit among others will keep 21%. The remaining six percent is to be floated on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.
Creditors of Bulgaria's telecoms operator Vivacom met in the English High Court on Aug. 30 to hammer out a restructuring deal for Russian and Bulgarian banks to take over the company, Vivacom said.
VTB Capital, a unit of Russia's second biggest lender VTB Bank and Bulgarian Corporate Commercial Bank agreed to buy Vivacom, the trade name of Bulgarian Telecommunication Company (BTC), earlier this week.
Under the plans for Vivacom, the two banks will invest EUR 130 M which will be used to partially repay the company's debt in exchange of 73% stake in Vivacom, the third largest mobile operator in Bulgaria after Telekom Austria 's Mobiltel and Greek OTE's Globul.