Investment further strengthens ambition of United Group as the regional leader in communication and media KKR maintaining substantial minority stake
London and Amsterdam, September 27th 2018 – Funds advised by BC Partners (“BC Partners”), a leading international investment firm, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement whereby BC Partners will acquire majority ownership of United Group B.V. (“United Group”) from KKR, a leading global investment firm. KKR will retain a substantial minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.
United Group is the leading 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 3,400 staff and providing services to over 1.8m homes.
Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said: “We are delighted to partner with United Group’s management team and KKR to support the company’s next phase of growth. United Group is a high-quality asset, with defensive growth characteristics, leading infrastructure, differentiated content and loyal customers. Its attractive and integrated business model and regional leadership position it well for further organic and acquisitive growth.”
Since its investment in 2014, KKR has supported United Group 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 1.82m homes which benefit from broadband speeds over 2.6x higher than local peers and high quality local and international content.
Jean-Pierre Saad, Managing Director at KKR said: “We are proud of the way in which United Group has developed 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 are acting as advisers to BC Partners while Credit-Suisse is advising United Group.
About BC Partners
BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over EUR18 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 Private Equity has completed 104 private equity investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €129 billion and is currently investing its tenth private equity fund. On the Private Credit front BC Partners Credit is currently investing Special Opportunities Fund I. 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 manager partnerships 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.