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COMPUTERWORLD | Articles | Market Analysis
01 Mar

The top 7 deals of 2010 in Bulgaria

One of the biggest mergers and acquisitions on the Bulgarian market marked 2010. Mega concentrations occurred mainly in the telecom and financial sectors
The year of 2010 was a milestone for Bulgaria's telecommunications market where a lot of the big mergers and acquisitions happened. Thus four of last year's top 7 deals in the country happened exactly in this sector.
Bulgarian Competition Watchdog Let M-Tel Buy SpectrumNet, Megalan
In January 2011, the Bulgarian Competition Protection Commission (CPC) gave Mobiltel the green light to acquire single control of SpectrumNet and Megalan Network for a total €72 mln and ruled immediate implementation of the decision.
Taking into consideration the overall market analysis, the CPC concluded that the concentration would not lead to creation or strengthening of a dominant position of the acquiring undertaking and therefore was not liable to have a significant effect on competition on the relevant markets.
The pre-arrangements for the deal were signed on 15 September 2010.
On 12 January 2010 Mobiltel CEO Andreas Maierhofer signed the final agreements with the owners of both companies. According to Telecom Austria Group, the total value of SpectrumNet and Megalan is €83 mln, excluding the existing obligations.
The acquisition of SpectrumNet was completed on 25 January 2011, and on 3 February 2011 M-Tel acquired 80% of Megalan. The remaining 20% will be taken over on 31 March 2012. Both companies will operate as separate entities throughout 2011.
SpectrumNet is specialized at providing Internet access, telephony, network services, and managed services. It is the biggest alternative operator, a leader on the business clients market, and is present in 13 Bulgarian cities. Just a year ago the company acquired rival Orbitel.
Megalan is among the biggest providers of home broadband Internet and IPTV services for Sofia. It has a 10-year experience in supplying Internet services.
SpectrumNet bought Orbitel
On 28 January 2010 Bulgaria's Internet market saw the finalization of the full acquisition of Orbitel by SpectrumNet worth over €5 mln. The act followed the approval granted by the local Competition Protection Commission (CPC) a few days earlier.
The initial contract was signed in November 2009.
Orbitel was among the pioneers on Bulgaria's telecommunications market. In 2006 it became part of Deutsche Telekom through Magyar Telekom.
Ciela Soft & Publishing and Norma Merged
Ciela Soft and Publishing and Norma merged on 17 October 2010 and became Ciela Norma. The new company continues the tradition to develop IT solutions, based on the previous experience of its founders.
The total net turnover of the two companies for the 2009 amounted to nearly €9 mln. 
Norma is the oldest active software company in Bulgaria. It was established in February 1985. Norma created the first law information system incorporating the Bulgarian legislation and became a byword figure for this type of products on the local market.
Ciela was established in 1991 as a business consulting company and a publishing house for law guides and monographs. Now it supplies the whole state and local administration, and also a big part of the court system, many lawyers and legal experts.
SAP Concept Merged Its Balkan Business With CNT Bulgaria
On 1 November 2010, SAP Concept, a leading SAP supplier in Bulgaria, merged its Balkan business with CNT Bulgaria. As of this date, SAP Concept assumed all the consulting resources and commercial operations of CNT Bulgaria. In the Balkan region, the new enterprise now operates under the SAP Concept brand.
Since November 2010, all commercial activities, staff and assets of CNT Bulgaria have been transferred to SAP Concept.
The decision merger creates a single, stronger company, which benefits its customers through improved customer service, increased in-house expertise and greater geographic reach.
Simultaneously, SAP Concept became the international partner of CNT International for the Balkans. The two entities have had a long history of successful SAP centric projects in that area, and in the CEE region, both individually and through joint cooperation.
Borica and Bankservice Merged 
Borica and Bankservice merged into one entity named Borica – Bankservice. Now 28 commercial banks are shareholders in the new company.
Bankservice, established in 1989, was a joint stock company owned by the Bulgarian National Bank and 26 commercial banks in Bulgaria.
Borica – the Bulgarian national payment card network operator, established in 1993, was owned by the Bulgarian National Bank and 25 commercial banks.
The two companies gained infrastructure significance for the local banking system and earned substantial reputation as partners and suppliers of products and services in the banking and financial sector.
The new enterprise started with a €5.44 mln equity and 283 employees, and it operates three payment settlement systems: BORICA – for card transactions, BISERA6 – for transactions in local currency (BGN), and BISERA7-EUR for transactions in euro.
CableTel and Eurocom became Blizoo
In May 2010, Bulgaria's top cable providers Eurocom and CableTel, which merged earlier in the year after the acquisition by Swedish investment fund EQT V, were rebranded as Blizoo. In July 2010, Blizoo fully acquired Link BG, the biggest Internet provider in the northeastern town of Dobrich, but the deal price was not disclosed.
The new company's marketing team was created in collaboration with London-based corporate identity design agency Sigal & Gale.
Now Blizoo seeks to be the leading digital TV operator and the largest broadband ISP in Bulgaria. Just for 2010 Blizoo invested about €25.6 mln in infrastructure development.
Vivacom outsourced operations to Alcatel-Lucent
In mid-February 2010, Alcatel-Lucent and Vivacom – former Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) – sealed a 5-year contract, by which the telecom outsourced end-to-end network operations to Alcatel-Lucent as of 1 March 2010. As part of this agreement, about 3,000 Vivacom employees joined Alcatel-Lucent under their existing terms of service.
Through the transaction Vivacom wanted to focus on its core business and to reduce its operative expenditures. The standard savings from infrastructure support outsourcing varies between 15 to 30% annually. This project was the first one in Bulgaria with such a large scale.

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