Sunrise in $6.3BN deal for UPC Switzerland | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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In a further divestment of European assets that it regards as non-core, Liberty Global has reached a binding agreement to sell its Swiss operation, UPC Switzerland, to Zurich-based telco Sunrise Communications Group.

surise 28Feb2019The transaction, valued at CHF 6.3 billion ($6.3 billion) and expected to close prior to year-end 2019, will create what Liberty and Sunrise say will be the leading converged challenger in the Swiss market with scale across all elements of the quad play bundle. At the end of 2018, UPC Switzerland’s cable network passed 2.3 million homes and served 1.1 million customers who subscribed to 1.1 million video, 700,000 broadband and 520,000 voice services. A combined company is attributed with having the scale to drive innovation, invest in new services and pursue growth in Switzerland with competitively priced offers.

Liberty Global has agreed to provide certain transitional services to Sunrise for a period of up to five years following completion. Such transitional services principally comprise network and information technology-related functions. The annual charges for such transitional services will depend on the actual level of transitional services required by Sunrise.

Commenting on the transaction, Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee said: “Today's announcement is an important milestone for Sunrise, our customers, employees and shareholders. Together with UPC Switzerland, we will create a stronger, truly converged challenger and significant value for our shareholders. We are committed to accelerating innovation and enhancing customers’ experience, building on the enlarged scale of the combined business and superior next generation network infrastructure. We have undertaken an extensive due diligence exercise, which gives us a lot of confidence in the deliverability of the synergies. We are excited about the prospects of the combined business.”

Net proceeds from the sale will likely see use by Liberty Global for general corporate purposes. “Today’s announcement further validates our strategy of building or enabling national champions in our core European markets,” noted Liberty Global chief executive officer Mike Fries. “After 13 years of investment, innovation and growth, UPC Switzerland will combine with Sunrise to form a strong challenger in the Swiss market. This is a great moment for the Swiss consumer as network quality, product innovation and customer experience is at the heart of both companies.”

The transaction with Sunrise comes after a similar deal in December 218 which saw the global media operator reach an agreement to sell its Eastern European DTH satellite TV assets to M7 Group.