Milbank LLP is advising BC Partners-owned United Group in connection with the acquisition of the debt and a significant minority interest in Forthnet S.A. (“Forthnet” or the “Company”), a prominent telecoms and pay-TV provider in Greece. The transaction will see the United Group acquire all of the company’s loan obligations, the convertible debt and an initial 36% of the company’s shares from Piraeus Bank, National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank and Attica Bank, i.e. the selling creditors. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Forthnet is the company that first introduced internet and pay-TV in Greece and today is a top provider of bundled home entertainment and communication services. With nearly 1,000 employees, it provides services to approximately 700,000 subscribers and over 40,000 companies. Forthnet is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.
The investment in Forthnet marks the third large-scale transaction since BC Partners acquired United Group in March 2019. The firm’s entry into the Greek market is another milestone in its European growth strategy and it further cements its position across eight countries in the South-Eastern European region.
In addition, the transaction will be a major international equity investment for Greece at a time where international M&A activity is at its lowest in more than 12 years.
Milbank partner Apostolos Gkoutzinis observed: “We are delighted that we assisted United Group in this significant transaction. It’s an exciting transaction for the United Group and an equally important transaction for the company and the broader Greek economy, which is sending a message that the country is open again to the international investing community.”
The Milbank team was led by London Capital Markets/Leveraged Finance partner Apostolos Gkoutzinis and associates Iakovos Anagnostopoulos, Anastasia Kontaxi and Chara Makrygianni and London Corporate Partner Mark Stamp and associate James Mackay.