Private equity group CVC Capital Partners and TDC have announced that they have reached a definitive agreement for investment funds advised by CVC to acquire Sunrise Communications, the Swiss telco, for CHF3.3 billion (USD3.27 billion). Completion is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2010, once approvals have been obtained from the Swiss regulatory authorities. Oliver Steil, Sunrise CEO, commented on the deal: ‘We are very excited about this agreement. For Sunrise the course of our future has been set today. With CVC we have the backing of a strong and long-term oriented financial partner which supports our plan to drive investment in both our network and our customer service. Sunrise remains committed to offering services that bring value-for-money and ease of use to our customers.’
TDC owned Sunrise for nearly ten years during which the latter invested more than CHF2 billion in mobile and fixed infrastructure in Switzerland. The company claims more than 2.86 million customers use its services. Its mobile networks, which are based on GSM, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA platforms, cover over 99% of the population while a high performance fibre-optic network, with a total length of 10,000km, enables high quality voice and data services to be offered throughout the country.
The sale to the private equity group comes just three months after TDC and France Telecom abandoned plans to merge their Swiss operations, after the local competition authorities ruled it would be bad for consumers. The merger of the companies’ local Orange and Sunrise units would, the watchdog ruled, have given it a ‘dominant position’ in the market.