On November 4, CEE Legal Matters reported that Gugushev & Partners had advised Blackpeak Capital on its acquisition of a stake in Telelink Bulgaria. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Kiril Ivanov, Investment Director at Blackpeak Capital, to learn more about the acquisition.
CEEIHM: To start, tell us a bit about Blackpeak Capital.
Ivanov: BlackPeak Capital was established in 2014 and targets growth equity investments of EUR 5-15 million in fast-growing SMEs in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia. BlackPeak Capital’s second fund, BlackPeak Southeast Europe Growth Equity Fund, focuses on partnering with the region’s outstanding entrepreneurs who have the ambition to build world-class companies based on continued innovation, organic growth, and add-on acquisitions. BlackPeak Capital team has EUR 150 million under management and remains committed to making a significant positive economic, social, and environmental impact.
BlackPeak Southeast Europe Growth Equity Fund is backed by the European Investment Fund under the COSME and JEREMIE programs, the European Union under the Equity Facility for Growth established under Regulation (EU) No 1287/2013 of the European Parliament, Invest BG, the EBRD, the IFC, and other European private institutional investors.
CEEIHM: What about the target, was it that you found particularly attractive?
Ivanov: Telelink Infra Services provides a wide variety of construction, engineering, upgrade, and maintenance services related to network and critical infrastructure to telecoms, private enterprises, and governments. The company is headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, and operates in five countries - Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Republic of North Macedonia, and Albania. The highly qualified international team consists of more than 400 employees.
The company is one of the regional leaders in the sector and over the last few years has built up a solid position in the UK and German markets. The continued growth and digitalization of crucial telecom, railway, and other public and private infrastructure in Europe will be very beneficial for Telelink Infra Services over the next 5-7 years and presents an opportunity for consolidation of smaller players into a large platform capable of delivering quality services to Global and Western European clients.
CEEIHM: What are the next plans, now post-investment?
Ivanov: We are very excited to support Telelink Infra Services’ ambitious plans to expand capacity by acquiring regional and Western European players.
We firmly believe that the synergy between Telelink Infra Services’ management with an outstanding track record of 20+ years and BlackPeak Capital’s expertise in helping its investee companies grow via acquisitions, will help establish the company as a recognized pan-European player. Together we are working on the execution of the roll-up plan and are engaged in active discussions with multiple targets.
CEEIHM: What aspects of the deal were most complicated from a legal perspective?
Ivanov: The combination of a buy-out and capital increase together with the negotiations of the minority protection rights of BlackPeak were probably the key discussion points. Additional complexity was added from the five jurisdictions' due diligence.
CEEIHM: And why did you pick Gugushev & Partners as your advisor on this deal?
Ivanov: Taking into account the complexity of the deal and the fact that Telelink Infra Services has five operational subsidiaries across Europe and the UK, which required extensive due diligence, we felt that Gugushev & Partners had the expertise, capacity, and partner network needed to advise us on the transaction. The level of personal involvement from the team and partners was exceptional and we are very pleased with the overall process and final outcome.
Originally reported by CEE In-House Matters.