Bulgarian operator Bulsatcom has denied recent reports in local and international media that the company is threatened with bankruptcy.
In an official statement provided to Broadband TV News, he said: âWith its 35% market share, Bulsatcom is the undisputed leader in the pay-TV market in Bulgaria, as well as the country’s third-largest broadband service provider. The company is a financially stable, growth-oriented and high-performing asset controlled by a group of leading institutional investors, such as BlackRock, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Blantyre Capital, Bulgarian Development Bank and Integral Venture Partners. In March 2020, after completing a financial restructuring of the company, the group of investors called on a new professional management, led by Stanislav Georgiev as CEO, to push through measures for the operational restructuring of the company. , stabilize its financial performance and manage the company. return to growth. At present, the measures are bearing fruit, namely that Bulsatcom is on track to upgrade its DTH customers to Interactive TV (via network-independent IPTV and streaming services), provides its customers with a rich and diverse content portfolio, including its own movie channels, a channel dedicated to Bulgarian sports, numerous 4K channels, as well as an Android TV-based service. “b-box” is arguably one of the most advanced and feature-rich products in the region, also able to meet the needs of the Bulgarian diaspora abroad.
âThe founders and former co-owners of Bulsatcom started the business as a small-town cable TV distributor about 17 years ago. In just a decade, they led the company to a dominant position in the market, first offering satellite TV services and later IPTV. Despite its undisputed market leadership, Bulsatcom temporarily went through a period of financial instability in the years 2016-2019. The founders then co-owners of the company undertook two ambitious projects, foreign to the core business of the company. They invested in two simultaneous, internally competing and investment-intensive ventures: launched their own satellite, called âBulgaria Satâ, also acquired a 4G license and created an MNO. Funded by loans that were only partially disbursed, the two companies eventually brought Bulsatcom into financial difficulty, which required the intervention of the company’s creditors, resulting in a financial restructuring. BlackRock, Blantyre Capital and the EBRD have recognized market leader Bulsatcom as a promising opportunity to enter this Eastern European market and have chosen, together with the Bulgarian Development Bank, also an institutional investor, to invest and transform the business into a financially and operationally stable asset. what it is today.
âBulsatcom’s continued market leadership, regained financial stability and steadily improving business performance also motivated one of Bulsatcom’s former co-owners, a minority shareholder after the restructuring, to attempt to take over the company. What followed was an unsuccessful execution of a pre-determined call option in December 2020, due to a missing approach. Court litigation followed, along with multiple public statements and legal actions, apparently aimed at destabilizing and devaluing the asset, in order to reduce Bulsatcom’s attractiveness to other investors.
“More recently, by pulling out a previously unannounced ‘golden parachute’ and combining it with inflated invoices issued by friendly companies, which Bulsatcom refused to acknowledge, the former owner filed for insolvency of Bulsatcom with the Bulgarian court. This tactic is unfortunately not unpopular in the Bulgarian business and legal environment, where submitting such claims comes down to a court fee of Â£110. Regarding this claim, Bulsatcom management remains confident that the truth will prevail and that the Bulgarian court will very soon rule on this insolvency claim as unfounded.
âToday, Bulsatcom is operationally well capitalized and benefits from the strong commitment and continued financial support of its group of investors. The company remains firmly in its position as market leader, constantly expanding its content portfolio from television channels and curating premier drama titles in its self-managed movie channels action.box, cine.box and comedy.box, with a mission to bring the best television entertainment to the homes of its customers.Under its new management, Bulsatcom was the first operator to introduce in Bulgaria Eurosport 4K, Turkish Drama Channel Dizi, BBC Earth, LoveNature 4K.Using innovative broadcast technologies, Bulsatcom was the first company to broadcast the cycling tour of Bulgaria live on its b1b channel .box, entirely dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of Bulgarian sportsâ.