Liberty Global completes Sunrise Communications acquisition | Major Businesses | Business
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The on/off saga of media giant Liberty Global’s purchase of Swiss telco Sunrise Communications is now at last over with Liberty revealing that it now own 98% of Sunrise shares after settlement of its tender offer.
Sunrise Liberty 13Aug2020

The story began in February 2019 when Liberty announced that it had reached a binding agreement with Sunrise’s board of directors to sell its UPC Schweiz division. The proposed transaction was valued at CHF 6.3 billion ($6.3 billion) and expected to close prior to year-end 2019, will create what Liberty and Sunrise said would have been the leading converged challenger in the Swiss market with scale across all elements of the quad play bundle. However the deal never gained full shareholder approval and in December 2019 Liberty terminated discussions regarding the combination of the firms.

Then in a total volte face in August 2020, Liberty Global turned the deal on its head and has made an all cash public tender offer for all publicly held shares of Sunrise at a price of CHF110 per share, placing a value of CHF5.0 billion on Sunrise’s equity and representing a total enterprise value of CHF6.8 billion.

In outlining its bid, Liberty said the deal would create the leading national converged challenger in Switzerland and that the combined business would have CHF3.1 billion in revenue from 2.1 million mobile post-paid subscribers, 1.2 million broadband subscribers and 1.3 million TV subscribers, approximately 30% market share in each segment. Liberty also saw the combined business as strongly positioned to continue its network roll-out of 5G and future technologies.

And now following receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals and fulfilment of further purchase conditions, the completion of the transaction has taken place with the settlement of the all-cash public tender offer of UPC Schweiz to acquire all publicly held shares of Sunrise Communications Group. Through UPC Schweiz, Liberty Global (now holds more than 98% of the share capital of Sunrise and will initiate a squeeze-out according to the Swiss Financial Market Infrastructure Act. Liberty Global plans to have the Sunrise shares delisted from the SIX Swiss Exchange upon completion of the squeeze-out and Sunrise will become a wholly-owned subsidiary within the Liberty Global group. While both Sunrise and UPC Schweiz GmbH will both be subsidiaries of Liberty Global, they will continue to operate independently until the integration of the two companies is completed in early 2021.

Commenting on completing the deal, Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries said: “Today marks another important step in our strategy of creating leading national fixed-mobile champions across Europe. By bringing together UPC’s leading gigabit broadband network and the most advanced 5G network of Sunrise, the combined company will provide seamless connectivity for millions of Swiss consumers and thousands of Swiss businesses.”