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Largest private equity investment in CEE

Target: MobilTel EAD, Bulgarian mobile phone network operator. Established in 1994, MobilTel is the largest mobile phone operator in Bulgaria with 2.7 million subscribers and a turnover of ?432 million ($533 million) in 2003.

Bidder: A private equity consortium comprising seven investment funds led by ABN Amro Capital, CVC International and Communication Venture Partners.

Seller: A consortium comprising Austria's third-biggest bank BAWAG, Taus family fund Management Trust Holding, financial company Kordt und Partner and family trust MC-Privatstiftung

Bid value: ?1.1 billion

Dollar equivalent: $1.37 billion

Acquired stake: 40%

Deal technique: Leveraged buy-out

Announcement date: April 17 2004

Date completed: July 5 2004

Financing structure: ?450 million of equity and ?650 million of acquisition debt, ?450 million of the debt being a five-year syndicated lending facility (the largest ever in Bulgaria) and a ?200 million bridge loan that expires after 365 days. The bridge loan is expected to be refinanced by a bond issue before the end of the year.

Lenders: ABN Amro Bank, Citibank and ING Bank as lead arrangers

Legal advisors: Allen & Overy, Paris office, advising the lenders, led by Vikki Greatorex. Haarmann Hemmelrath, led by Bernd Sagasser, and Linklaters, led by Derek Hayward, advising the equity consortium.

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