Sunrise boss Krause becomes CEO of the merged Sunrise-UPC

Sunrise boss André Krause becomes CEO of the merged Sunrise-UPC. Following the completion of the acquisition of Sunrise, UPC owner Liberty Global has appointed the German to head the new heavyweight in the Swiss telecommunications market.


André Krause becomes CEO of the merged Sunrise-UPC. (Screenshot:

The move marks UPC CEO Baptiest Coopmans' return to parent company Liberty Global after 10 months at the helm of the Swiss cable operator, where he will assume a senior operational role, the U.S.-British company announced in a communiqué Monday.

Krause is an outstanding leader with a proven track record of growth, innovation and value creation at Sunrise, Liberty CEO Mike Fries said in the communiqué. He is uniquely qualified to lead the integration of UPC and Sunrise and execute on growth plans, he added. Krause's appointment had become apparent after Coopmans was elected to Sunrise's board of directors a week ago.


Ex-UPC boss returns

In addition, Coopmans' predecessor at the top of UPC, Severina Pascu, will return to Switzerland. She will become vice CEO and chief operating officer of the joint Sunrise-UPC, Liberty Global further wrote. Pascu was previously vice chief executive and chief financial officer of Virgin Media in the UK. She had led UPC from September 2018 to January 2020 ( reported).

Fries said he was thrilled that Pascu was coming back to Switzerland. She is a world-class operational leader with great experience in the Swiss market, he said. Pascu and Krause are a "dream team," he said.

In the coming weeks and months, the further management team will now be determined and the structure of the joint organization defined, Krause said in an interview with the AWP news agency. After that, it will be decided who gets which job. "You can only make a job cut once you have defined the processes. At management level, it will happen faster, at employee level later."

The new company will be called Sunrise-UPC. The brands to be used on the market are still under consideration. "It will probably not be just one brand," said Krause.

Until the integration is completed early next year, however, Sunrise and UPC will operate independently of each other, Liberty Global explained. The Group is thus following through with its plans as it had announced earlier.


Potential competitor for Swisscom

Together, Sunrise and UPC want to become a more potent challenger to top dog Swisscom. Together they will achieve sales of CHF 3.1 billion and have 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 goal 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.


Acquisition completed

Liberty Global had completed its takeover of Sunrise last Wednesday with the acquisition of more than 98 percent of Sunrise shares. The cable network giant had submitted the billion-dollar purchase offer for Sunrise in August ( reported). Sunrise shareholders will receive CHF 5 billion in cash. This values Switzerland's second-largest telecommunications group at CHF 6.8 billion, including debt.

Now the procedure for the compulsory compensation of the remaining minority shareholders (in technical jargon "squeeze-out") is initiated, whose shares are to be declared invalid. After completion of this procedure, the Sunrise shares are to be delisted from the Swiss stock exchange SIX. (SDA)

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