Swisscom definitively acquires Publigroupe

The era of Publigroupe as an independent company is coming to an end after almost 125 years. Next week, the advertising sales company will definitely pass into the hands of Swisscom. Swisscom will pay CHF 475 million for the service.

This also marks the end of a bidding war in which the rivals became partners after all. Originally, the media company Tamedia also wanted to buy Publigroupe. Both Swisscom and Tamedia were primarily interested in Publigroupe's main asset, the local.ch directory platform. However, they then agreed that they would work together on the directory platform business and would therefore merge their information platforms. The new ownership structure will have no impact on the management and organisation of local.ch, according to a Swisscom statement on Friday. However, the planned partnership in the directories still has to be approved by the competition authorities. However, there are no reservations regarding Swisscom's purchase of Publigroupe. The Competition Commission (Comco) has given the green light.

214 Swiss francs per share

As of 25 August, Swisscom had been tendered 97.11 percent of all shares to which the offer related. In total, Swisscom owns 98.37 per cent. Due to the high percentage of shares held, Swisscom will declare the shares not tendered to it as null and void and compensate the shareholders with CHF 214 per share. Swisscom will sell the media holdings still held by Publigroupe. The stake held by FPH Freie Presse, for example, is expected to go to the NZZ Group in the autumn. Even before Swisscom's offer, Publigroupe had sold its problem subsidiary Publicitas. The buyer was the German investment company Aurelius. The sale was completed at the end of June and led to a huge loss in Publigroupe's half-year results, which were also published on Friday. Below the line, there is a gaping hole of 46.4 million francs. In the same period last year, the loss still amounted to CHF 9.5 million. At the operating level, however, Publigroupe returned to the black with a profit of CHF 1.6 million. In the same period last year, a loss of almost CHF 10 million was posted.

At operating level, on the other hand, Publigroupe returned to the black with a profit of CHF 1.6 million. In the same period last year, this segment posted a loss of almost CHF 10 million. The Search & Find segment, which also includes the directory platform local.ch, increased its sales by seven percent to CHF 51.4 million. Operating profit (EBIT) doubled to CHF 9.4 million. For the year as a whole, the group (excluding Media Sales, i.e. excluding Publicitas) expects consolidated net sales of around CHF 150 million and an operating profit of around CHF 15 to 20 million. (SDA)

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