After the failed acquisition of Swiss cable operator UPC by local telco Sunrise, UPC parent company Liberty Global is now turning the tables and wants to take over Sunrise.
Liberty Global has made a takeover bid to the Sunrise stakeholders for all shares, setting the company value at CHF6.8 billion (€6.3 billion). This represents a premium of 32% over the average price of Sunrise shares on the Swiss stock exchange over the past 60 days.
The Sunrise board of directors recommends that shareholders accept the offer. As part of the transaction, German media company Freenet has agreed to tender its entire stake in Sunrise of around 24% of the share capital as part of the offer.
“The industrial logic of this merger is undeniable, but the real winners are Swiss consumers and businesses. This powerful combination of 5G wireless and gigabit broadband will accelerate digital investment at a time when connectivity has never been more essential,” said Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global.
“Fixed-mobile convergence is the future of the telecom sector in Europe, and now Switzerland will have a true national challenger to drive competition and innovation for years to come,” added Fries. “This transaction is another significant step on our path to create fixed-mobile champions in all of our core markets.”
Thomas D. Meyer, chairman of the Sunrise board, said: “In making this offer, Liberty Global is recognising the quality and resilience of our business and its potential going forward. The combination of Sunrise and UPC Switzerland will create the leading fixed-mobile challenger in the Swiss telecoms market, with the scale and infrastructure to compete against Swisscom.”
The companies expect to close the transaction towards the end of the year, subject to regulatory approvals.