€50m buyer of Telekom Albania ‘wants to buy DT’s units in Romania and Macedonia’

The Bulgarian businessman who has agreed to buy Telekom Albania from Deutsche Telekom now wants to buy the group’s Romanian and Macedonian subsidiaries.

Reports in Bulgarian business newspaper Capital say that Spas Rusev, who is the largest shareholder in Bulgarian operator Vivacom, wants to talk to Deutsche Telekom about the two other businesses.

Last week Rusev led the €50 million purchase of Telekom Albania from Greek operator OTE, which is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. OTE’s CEO, Michael Tsamaz, said: “The acquisition of the company by a strong and entrepreneurial investment group ensures its growth and creates the conditions to further strengthen its market position.”

Capital said today that Rusev “is interested” in Telekom Romania, based in Bucharest, and Makedonski Telekom, based in Skopje. But he has admitted that “no official talks have yet been held”, according to the paper.

He added: “Deutsche Telekom is a stock company and will officially announce when there is an open negotiation process and I hope to be one of the participants.”

Rusev told Capital that he wants to build up a group of telecoms operators in the region, based in Bulgaria. He owns 46% of the Vivacom holding company, BTC, but has bid for Telekom Albania personally, not via Vivacom, he said.

He added that his goal was for “Bulgaria to become a telecom hub for the region”.

Capital says that Deutsche Telekom is looking for around €1 billion for its operations in Romania and Macedonia – the former Yugoslav republic that is likely to be renamed North Macedonia shortly.
Moldova approves sale of Moldindconbank stake to Bulgarian investor

The National Bank of Moldova has approved the sale of a 64 per cent stake in the country’s second-largest lender, Moldindconbank, to a Bulgarian investment fund, Doverie United Holding.

Moldindconbank will be the third major bank sold to a foreign investor as part of a clean-up of the banking system following a scandal in 2014 when more than one billion US dollars disappeared from three of the country’s banks. The sale will be seen as a further step in meeting the requirements of Moldova’s international backers, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, to root out corrupt practices and make the ownership of lenders more transparent.

The national bank said it “considers the potential investor’s intention as a notable opportunity to develop Moldindconbank on a long-term basis and to increase the competitiveness and quality of services offered to its clients.”

In October 2018, a consortium led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development bought a 41 per cent stake in Moldova’s largest lender, Moldova-Agroindbank.