Serbia Broadband sold to KKR

October 16, 2013 07.41 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

Serbia flagKohlberg Kravis Roberts is to buy SBB/Telemach Group, one of the leading providers of pay-TV and broadband services in South East Europe, from Mid Europa Partners for an undisclosed fee.

In a statement, the company says that it, together with its affiliates (known collectively as KKR) has signed a definite agreement under which funds advised or controlled by KKR will be used for the acquisition.

It also says that the executive management team led by the founder Dragan Solak will remain in place and retain a substantial stake in SBB/Telemach Group.

The latter has a presence in seven countries – Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Macedonia – with a combined population of over 20 million and has around 1.7 million cable and satellite TV, broadband, fixed and mobile customers.

Its best-known assets are in Serbia, where it is the country’s leading provider of cable and DTH services (Serbia Broadband and Total TV respectively).

Commenting on the deal, which is expected to close at the end of the year, Henrik Kraft, member of KKR and head of KKR’s telecoms and technology team in Europe said: “We look forward to partnering with Dragan Solak and his team. They have built a strong and sophisticated TV and communications platform and we are excited to support the company in its further growth.”

Dragan Solak, founder and executive chairman of the SBB-Telemach Group, said: “I look forward to the partnership with KKR. Their sector expertise and experience and global resources and network will be a great asset for our firm in this next stage of development.”

Johannes Huth, member of KKR and head of European operations stated: “KKR has built a successful investment track record in the telecoms and media sector. I am confident that the investment in the SBB/Telemach Group will be equally successful.”

KKR’s co-Founder and co-CEO Henry Kravis said: “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, led by Dragan and his talented team, and in the region.”