KKR will retain a substantial minority stake in United Group. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to the relevant regulatory approvals.
Schoenherr was leading the vendor due diligence across 11 jurisdictions in Western and Eastern Europe and provided comprehensive legal support to United Group on all local law aspects of the transaction. The team's industry know-how was complemented by Schoenherr's long-standing relationship with United Group. The firm previously advised United Group in 2017 on the EUR 230m acquisition of broadcasting companies NOVA TV in Croatia and Pro Plus in Slovenia from Central European Media Enterprises.
"The sale of United Group is one of the most significant private equity deals in the Balkan region," commented Slaven Moravcevic, who together with fellow Schoenherr partners Alexander Popp and Milos Lakovic coordinated the cross-border team working on this transaction. "Our media and telecoms know-how was crucial to the transaction process, and we were thrilled to bring our expertise to the table," added Alexander Popp.
The team advising on this transaction was led by Slaven Moravcevic (partner, Belgrade, corporate/m&a), Alexander Popp (partner, Vienna, corporate/m&a), and Milos Lakovic (partner, Belgrade, regulatory/corporate/m&a); who were supported by Schoenherr colleagues in Belgrade, Banja Luka, Podgorica, Skopje, and Vienna.
United Group is the leading media and communication services provider across South East Europe. 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. KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit. BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over EUR 18bln of assets under management in private equity and private credit.
Paul Weiss was legal counsel to KKR for the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis represented the buyer. Morgan Stanley and LionTree acted as financial advisers to BC Partners, while Credit-Suisse advised United Group.