Karanovic & Nikolic has advised Mid Europa Partners, a leading European private equity firm, on the sale of SBB/Telemach Group to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), a leading global investment firm.
The transaction was first announced on October 15, 2013, and regulatory approvals have only recently been completed. Though financial terms were not disclosed, Mid Europa described the transaction as representing the "largest private equity exit in the former Yugoslavia."
The SBB/Telemach Group is the leading Pay-TV (cable, DTH) and broadband operator in South-East Europe, with a population of over 20 million in SBB/Telemach Group's current operating perimeter. The SBB/Telemach Group operates in Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Macedonia and has around 1.7 million cable and satellite TV, broadband, fixed, and mobile customers. Mid Europa Partners acquired SBB in 2007, in a transaction that Karanovic & Nikolic also advised on.
Robert Knorr, a Senior Partner of Mid Europa, commented that "We acquired SBB, the leading Serbian pay TV provider in 2007 and through extensive investment in organic growth and 18 add-on acquisitions, transformed a national champion into a pan-regional leader serving 1.8 million RGUs across six countries. This transaction validates our long held conviction that this region offers excellent growth opportunities, and our ability to create value by building regional champions."
KKR's Co-Founder and Co-CEO Henry Kravis was equally enthusiastic, saying: "This is our first direct investment in Southern Eastern Europe. It adds to our investments in more than 40 European companies across 12 countries and it is a sign of our confidence in the prospects of SBB/Telemach Group."
Karanovic & Nikolic’s legal team was headed by Partner Rastko Petakovic.