EBRD participates with up to EUR 50mn in KKR's EUR 1bn acquisition of SBB/Telemach media group

By bne IntelliNews February 10, 2014

The EBRD said it has co-invested alongside private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in last year's acquisition of a majority stake in the SBB/Telemach group - South East Europe’s leading regional Pay TV platform, from Mid Europa Partners.

The EBRD said in a statement its financing in this project was up to EUR 50mn, while the total project cost is EUR 1bn. It was not immediately clear what ownership stake does the EBRD has in SBB/Telemach following the transaction, which is still subject to regulatory approvals.

The EBRD was also a minority partner of Mid Europa in SBB/Telemach prior to Mid Europa's exit in

October 2013 when the group was sold to KKR. The deal is among the region's largest M&A transactions in the past years.

The EBRD said the acquisition will increase competition in the telecom sector,  dominated by incumbent operators, and support "the expansion of a regional telecom and media player that has demonstrated the use of best practice across various markets and geographies".

The project should as well encourage other large global buy-out firms to look at Eastern European companies.

SBB/Telemach operates in Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Macedonia – a market of over 20 million people, and has around 1.7 million cable and satellite TV, broadband, fixed and mobile customers.

The group comprises SBB - the largest cable operator in Serbia, as well as the largest cable operator in Slovenia and Bosnia – Telemach, along with another 15 smaller firms. Moreover, SBB already operates on the fixed telephony market in Serbia and plans to become the fourth mobile operator in the country soon.

Related Articles

‘Pro-Erdogan’ holding reportedly set to buy Hurriyet daily and CNN Turk

Turkey’s Demiroren Holding, an unlisted firm seen as backing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has agreed to buy the respected Hurriyet newspaper and broadcaster CNN Turk, an official of the holding ... more

Bucharest-born UiPath raises $153mn in venture capital funding

UiPath, a robotic process automation (RPA) company founded by two Romanian entrepreneurs, announced on March 6 that it has raised $153mn from a group of international venture capital investors.  ... more

Turkcell applies to issue up to $750mn of Eurobonds

Turkey’s largest mobile operator Turkcell has applied to the Turkish Capital Markets Board (SPK) to issue up to $750mn worth of Eurobonds, the company said on February 26 in a bourse ... more