Liberty Global has confirmed that it has terminated discussions regarding the combination of UPC Switzerland and Sunrise Communications, and that a turnaround plan is on track.
“We wish Sunrise well but we are moving on,” confirmed Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global. “Despite our willingness to show significant flexibility on terms, it’s clear to us that the Sunrise Board of Directors and their largest shareholder cannot agree amongst themselves on the best path forward.”
“As we close that door, we are excited by the success of UPC Switzerland’s turnaround plan and free cash flow generation, and we will obviously consider other strategic options in the marketplace. We’ve seen in The Netherlands, Belgium and elsewhere around the world, that the industrial logic of fixed-mobile convergence is indisputable. UPC Switzerland is the fulcrum asset in the Swiss telecom market, with a nationwide 1 Gigabit network, the best entertainment platform and a growing fixed-mobile subscriber base.”
Liberty Global and Sunrise announced a binding agreement on February 27th, 2019 and the combination received unconditional regulatory approval in September. However, in October, Sunrise cancelled its extraordinary general meeting (EGM), with approval from Liberty Global, as the result of a dispute with its largest shareholder and the Share Purchase Agreement providing for the transaction was terminated in November. After payment to Liberty Global of a CHF 50 million (€45.6m) break fee, negotiations continued up until this announcement.