Government to sell Swisscom stake in two years

25 Nov 2005

The Swiss government plans to reduce its stake in incumbent telco Swisscom to 50% plus one share, before passing legislation that will allow it to offload its entire holding, valued at CHF17 billion (EUR11 billion), by the end of 2007. The government’s majority share has fluctuated since 1998, but it currently holds 66.1% of the telco and plans to raise around CHF4.2 billion (EUR2.7 billion) by lowering its stake to the minimum level currently permitted under Swiss law. Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz told a press conference yesterday that changing the law to clear a path for a complete sale will take at least two years. A Swisscom spokesperson said that the company’s board was not involved in the ‘purely political’ decision, and that the state’s stake has ‘no influence on the company’s business.’

Switzerland, Swisscom