Bulgarian telecom carrier Mobiltel to buy cable provider Blizoo

Bulgaria’s largest telecom carrier Mobiltel said has agreed to buy cable TV and internet service provider Blizoo from Swedish investment fund EQT V, but declined to disclose the financial details of the deal.

The acquisition is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter of 2015, pending regulatory approval, Mobiltel’s parent company Telekom Austria said in a statement on July 29.

The statement describes Blizoo as Bulgaria’s second-largest fixed-line operator, with an eight per cent share in the fixed broadband market and 11 per cent in the cable TV market, with 373 000 subscribers.

Mobiltel, which operates under the M-tel brand, already operates on both of those markets, having acquired Megalan and Spectrum Net for a combined 83 million euro in 2011. The company provided no estimates of its own current customer base, but its geographic reach is set to expand with the acquisition of Blizoo.

“This move opens a broad range of exciting opportunities for Mobiltel and strengthens our fixed-line portfolio. We are looking forward to a positive decision of the authorities as the acquisition would contribute to a better market environment and higher investments in the Bulgarian economy,” Mobiltel chief executive Thanasis Katsiroumpas said.

Blizoo was formed in 2009, when EQT merged two local cable TV companies it acquired for 120 million euro. The company has been on the selling block for the past three years, but potential buyers were put off by EQT’s high asking price, reports in Bulgarian media have claimed.

The deal is the second between Telekom Austria and EQT in the space of 13 months, with the Austrian carrier also buying a Macedonian cable TV provider, also named Blizoo, in June 2014.



The Sofia Globe staff

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