The European investment group LIC33 has acquired a 43% stake in the Bulgarian incumbent telco Vivacom.

Speaking in a press conference in Sofia and quoted by Bloomberg, Pierre Louvrier, LIC33ís chairman, said that the Luxembourg-registered group has also brought 100% of Nurts, Vivacomís radio and TV transmission company, along with several other assets, including cable TV licences, a military aviation repair plant and an ammunition maker.

The sale in addition included the DTT multiplex operator First Digital.

The total value of the deal, which has still to receive regulatory approval was a nominal Ä1, with a commitment to refinance debts to banks totaling around Ä900 million.

Tsvetan Vassilev, the vendor and also head of the failed the Corporate Commercial Bank, is currently in Belgrade awaiting a court ruling on Bulgariaís request for his extradition.

Prior to the acquisition by LIC33, Vivacom was 94% owned by Corporate Commercial Bank and Russiaís VTB Capital.

LIC33 plans to raise funds on international markets to refinance the debts and is in talks to refinance a Ä150 million equity bridge loan to Vivacom due in May.

It also plans to buy out Vivacomís other shareholders.

Vivacomís interests include a DTH platform named Vivacom TV.