Bulgarian Competition Commission Halts MTG’s Nova Sale


The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) has stopped the proposed sale of MTG’s majority stake in Nova Broadcasting Group to the Czech investment conglomerate PPF Group.

Back in February, MTG signed an agreement to sell its 95 percent shareholding in the Bulgarian broadcaster to PPF Group, an investment company controlled by Petr Kellner. The transaction put Nova at an enterprise value of 185 million euros ($228 million). PPF Group also planned to acquire the remaining 5 percent stake from Eastern European Media Holdings.

The CPC has now ruled that Nova has “significant financial and organizational resources, the opportunity for economy of scale and reach, and an established image,” that when coupled with PPF Group’s investment experience would mean the participants in the merger would have “the stimulus and real possibility to change their commercial policy in different ways that would lead to reduced access, increased prices or changes to contracts already in place.”

MTG commented that it is “surprised by the decision and will review it further before deciding on the next steps to be taken.”