Weko waves through Sunrise takeover by Liberty without conditions

Green light for the billion-euro merger in the Swiss telecommunications industry: The Weko has approved the takeover of Sunrise by UPC owner Liberty Global without conditions or requirements.


This means that an important hurdle has been cleared, Sunrise announced in a communiqué on Friday. Sunrise welcomes the decision of the Federal Competition Commission Weko. The decision without conditions had been expected.

UPC owner Liberty Global had submitted the purchase offer for Sunrise in August (Werbewoche.ch reported). The American-British cable network giant is digging deep into its pockets: Sunrise shareholders are to receive CHF 5 billion in cash. This values Switzerland's second-largest telecoms group at CHF 6.8 billion, including debt.

In the meantime, more than 96 percent of Sunrise shareholders had tendered their shares after the end of the additional acceptance period on Wednesday, the telecom group had reported the previous day. The final result will be published on November 3.


Potential competitor for Swisscom

Once the deal is completed, Sunrise and the cable network operator UPC will be merged. Together, they aim to become a more potent challenger to top dog Swisscom. Together, they will have sales of CHF 3.1 billion and 2.1 million mobile subscribers. With 1.2 million broadband customers and 1.3 million TV subscribers, they will achieve a market share of around 30 percent in each area.

One aim of the merger is also to eliminate the respective weak points. Sunrise, for example, is getting its own fixed network, while UPC is now getting a mobile network. (SDA)

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