BC Partners Completes Acquisition of United Group, South Eastern Europe’s Leading Cable, Telecoms and Media Group
One of the largest single foreign direct investments in South Eastern Europe
London and Amsterdam, 04 March 2019 – BC Partners, a leading international investment firm, today announced the completion of the acquisition of majority ownership of United Group B.V. (“United Group”) from KKR, following the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. KKR and United Group’s management team will retain a substantial minority stake.
Founded in Serbia, and headquartered in Amsterdam, United Group is the leading independent media and communication services provider across South East Europe. Through significant investments in digital infrastructure, content and proprietary technology, it provides market-leading services to its customers across the region. Over the past 18 years the Group has expanded its presence through both organic growth and acquisitions, now employing over 4,400 staff and providing services to over 1.8 million homes.
Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said: “We are delighted to have completed this transaction with United Group’s management team and KKR, and look forward to supporting the company’s next phase of growth. United Group is a high-quality asset, with defensive growth characteristics, leading infrastructure, differentiated content and a growing base of loyal customers. Its attractive and integrated business model and regional leadership position provide an excellent platform for further organic growth and strategic acquisitions across Europe.”
Since its investment in 2014, KKR has supported United Group’s efforts to build the company into the leading provider of communications and media services in South Eastern Europe. United Group’s fibre and cable networks have the largest presence in the region, covering 1.8 million homes which benefit from broadband speeds over 2.4x higher than local peers and high quality local and international content.
Jean-Pierre Saad, Managing Director at KKR said: “We are proud of the many achievements of United Group over the last five years. It is a great example of a truly convergent operator across communications and media with market leading product innovation and services. We will remain closely committed to the further development of United Group and are looking forward to working with BC Partners and the management team to further strengthen the company’s growth.”
Morgan Stanley and LionTree acted as advisers to BC Partners while Credit Suisse advised United Group.
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About BC Partners
BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over €20 billion of assets under management in private equity and private credit. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for three decades. Today, BC Partners executives operate across markets as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in North America and Europe.
Since inception, BC Partners has completed 105 private equity investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €130 billion and is currently investing its tenth private equity fund. For more information, please visit www.bcpartners.com.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.
About United Group
Founded in 2000, United Group is the leading multi-play telecoms and media provider in South East Europe, providing customers with a full range of telecommunications services. It has the broadest network coverage in the region and offers customers an unrivalled selection of content, from local offerings to the best selection from across the globe. United Group operates in six countries (through brands such as SBB, Telemach, and United Media, and channels such as SportKlub, Nova TV and N1TV) plus a global OTT service, reaching 3.74 million subscribers in 1.8 million homes, employing 4,400 people.
United Group’s international investors include KKR and now BC Partners as the majority investor.