Mid Europa to make 3x return selling Serbian TV, internet business SBB/Telemach to KKR


communications antena tower full of dishes with sky backgroundCentral and Eastern Europe-focused private equity firm Mid Europa Partners stands to make a three times overall return by exiting Serbian pay TV and broadband provider SBB/Telemach to KKR.

MEP initially bought a controlling stake in Serbia Broadband from Bedminster Capital-managed SEEFI in 2007, before combining the business with Telemach in December last year.

The three-times return is blended to take into account the two investments, which were made through its second and third funds respectively, an MEP spokeswoman confirmed.

MEP said it expected the deal, which represents the largest private equity exit in the former Yugoslavia, to close in the first quarter of 2014.

During the firm’s ownership SBB grew its EBITDA at an annual rate of 37 per cent, and currently offers cable and satellite TV, internet and fixed and mobile telephony services across six countries in the region.

KKR co-founder and co-CEO Henry Kravis said the deal was the firm’s first direct investment in Southern Eastern Europe.

MEP associate director Andrej Babache, who led the execution of the transaction, said, “In addition to consistently delivering industry-leading operating and financial performance in each year of our ownership, this investment and the transactions that have created it, have marked a number of milestones that demonstrate Mid Europa’s strong execution capability.

“[They are] the first LBO in Serbia, the first LBO in CEE post the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the first CEE recapitalisation with multi-jurisdictional debt pushdown and now one of the largest CEE private equity exits”.

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