Mobiltel sold

Mobiltel, the private equity-backed Bulgarian mobile communications company, has been sold to Telekom Austria in a E1.6bn transaction.

The shareholders included 3TS Capital Partners, 3i, ABN AMRO Capital, Citigroup Private Equity, Global Bulgaria and Romania Growth Fund, Innova Capital and Sandler Capital Management. This consortium led a E1.2bn LBO, the largest ever in Central and Eastern Europe, in July 2004, and entered into discussions with Telekom Austria towards the end of that year, which subsequently issued a call option in March 2004.

The LBO saw the consortium take a combined 40% stake, investing E450m of equity. It has been reported that a gain of E160m has been made from the sale, and Innova has announced it made a 2.6x return.

Mobiltel will now be consolidated into Telekom Austria’s wireless division.