The vast majority of shareholders in Swiss operator Sunrise agreed to a CHF6.8 billion ($7.4 billion) buyout offer from Liberty Global, with the proposed deal still subject to regulatory clearance.
In a statement, Sunrise said Liberty Global’s tender offer had been taken by investors representing almost 82 per cent of the company’s share capital as of its expiry yesterday (8 October).
Assuming the tender is formally declared successful, shareholders will have a further 10 days to sign-up, starting 15 October.
On announcing the deal in August, Liberty Global said it aimed to create the leading converged operator in Switzerland using the combination of its cable assets and Sunrise’s mobile operation. It also plans to step-up competition to incumbent Swisscom in the B2B sector.
Liberty Global’s takeover bid for Sunrise came as something of a shock after Sunrise had last year abandoned an attempt to buy Liberty Global’s local cable operation UPC Switzerland under severe pressure from shareholders.
The latest proposed tie-up is also not without controversy, with rival mobile operator Salt claiming the agreement breached the terms of a fibre joint venture it set up with Sunrise earlier this year.
Salt’s subsequent attempt to get an immediate injunction to stop the Liberty Global deal was rejected by Commercial Court of the Canton of Zurich at a hearing last month.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back