Freenet hits back as Sunrise row rumbles on - Mobile World Live

Freenet hits back as Sunrise row rumbles on

23 AUG 2019

Sunrise shareholder Freenet revealed it is open to talks with the operator despite accusing the Swiss company of unacceptable behaviour, as the war of words over the proposed acquisition of cable company UPC Switzerland intensified.

In a statement, a Freenet representative said: “Despite the unacceptable behaviour of Sunrise, Freenet and its representatives are still available for a constructive dialogue in the interests of Sunrise, existing shareholders and Freenet.

“However, we will consider all legal and commercial means to mitigate damage to Freenet and existing shareholders.”

Its comments follow statements made by Swiss mobile operator Sunrise yesterday accusing Freenet, its largest shareholder, of self-serving motives in its opposition to the structure and price of its CHF6.3 billion ($6.4 billion) acquisition of cable business UPC Switzerland from Liberty Global.

Freenet added comments from management and executives at Sunrise “speaks for itself,” noting “it is important to emphasise once again that our criticism of the UPC transaction is not a special opinion of Freenet for supposedly selfish motives. Our criticisms are shared by many investors and analysts.”

Freenet has hit out at both the valuation of the UPC business and make-up of the transaction, including the decision to make it a cash-only deal rather than demanding Liberty Global take a share of the combined entity to share any risk.

The shareholder has promised to vote against the transaction in its current form at a forthcoming extraordinary general meeting.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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