Sunrise and Liberty Global reached an advanced stage in negotiations over an acquisition of the latter’s Swiss cable business, though talks are ongoing, Financial Times (FT) reported.
The companies have discussed a €4 billion merger in the past, the newspaper added.
In 2018 talks of a partnership, rather than acquisition had surfaced on several occasions. In March 2018, Liberty Global reportedly entered into discussions with Sunrise about establishing a joint venture in the country: later in the year CEO Mike Fries said a deal with Sunrise was possible and that Liberty Global had struggled in the market due to the level of competition for mobile, fixed-line, internet and TV services.
Meanwhile, Sunrise’s revenue from its mobile services in Q3 2018 was more than double its fixed-line revenue and an acquisition could balance this out.
FT noted that until recently, Liberty Global had been seen as a buyer rather than a seller, but its debts are now 5.8-times its annual earnings.
It has been trimming down in Europe after offloading its Austrian cable business to Deutsche Telekom and its operations in a number of markets to Vodafone Group for €18 billion (a move the EU is now investigating, citing competition concerns).
Sunrise is valued at €4.3 billion including debt.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back