Schoenherr and Kambourov & Partners have advised the United Group on the acquisition of Sofia's Net1 telecom operator. Schoenherr also advised the United Group on the acquisition of Digital Cable Television, a telecommunications operator in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, operating under the brand name N3. Dimitrov & Partners advised the sellers of N3 on that deal.
Both deals remain contingent on regulatory approval.
Schoenherr describes the United Group as "the leading multi-play telecoms and media business operating in South Eastern Europe." The company, which is owned by BC Partners, provides customers with a range of telecommunications services. The United Group entered the Bulgarian market in 2020 with its acquisition of Vivacom, again with Schoenherr's assistance (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on August 4, 2020), in a deal that was selected as the 2019 CEE Deal of the Year for Bulgaria (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on June 30, 2020).
According to Schoenherr, "Net1 is among the leading operators in the Sofia region providing Internet and pay-TV services to residential users as well as integrated telecoms solutions for businesses, including services such as IT support, telephony, and video surveillance." According to the firm, N3 "provides digital television and Internet for household and business needs. Its services are based on new technologies and a well-maintained infrastructure. It offers over 200 digital channels, 20 of which have High Definition resolution. In addition, N3 offers the free N3play app to its customers which provides the ability to watch 50 TV channels on mobile devices."
According to Schoenherr, "Net1's sale was a debt-for-equity (refinancing) deal. It involved the sale of a distressed asset (Net1) by its key financial lender (First Investment Bank AD) and debt re-financing. The combination and interplay of M&A elements and financing elements made this deal particularly complex. Another challenging element was securing United Group's rights in view of competing interests of other creditors of Net1."
The Schoenherr team advising the United Group on the Net1 transaction was led by Partner Ilko Stoyanov and Head of Banking & Finance Tsvetan Krumov, supported by Attorneys at Law Katerina Kaloyanova-Toshkova, Milena Gabrovska, and Galina Petkova. Stoyanov, Kaloyanova-Toshkova, and Galina Petkova also advised the United Group on the Net3 deal.
The Kambourov & Partners team acting for the United Group on the Net1 acquisition was led by Partner Veronika Hadjieva.
The Dimitrov & Partners team included Managing Partners Slavi Dimitrov and Angelina Mileva and Partner Iva Nikolova.