UPC mulls Swiss merger options

4 Sep 2018

The CEO of Swiss full-service provider UPC Switzerland has confirmed that the company, which ranks a distant second in subscriber terms to market leader Swisscom in the broadband segment, is interested in merging with another provider. Broadband TV News quotes UPC Switzerland CEO Eric Tveter as saying: ‘In the Swiss market with four full-service providers, consolidation would make sense. We believe that we are well-equipped for an independent future, but we are looking at strategic options.’ Rumours of potential M&A activity from Liberty Global’s Swiss arm began circulating in early 2018, following the announcement that the firm’s UK-based parent had agreed to sell its Austrian division to T-Mobile for an enterprise value of EUR1.9 billion (USD2.2 billion), potentially providing capital for takeovers in other markets. The sale of UPC Austria was completed in late-July this year.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, UPC was the second largest broadband provider by subscribers in June 2018 with a market share of 18.5%, compared to a share of 51.7% claimed by state-backed incumbent Swisscom.

Broadband TV News highlights rival full-service providers Sunrise and Salt as potential targets but Swiss regulators have historically been reluctant to allow the consolidation of two major providers and a tie-up with either operator could be weighed-down by burdensome concessions.

Switzerland, Liberty Global, Salt (Switzerland), Sunrise (formerly Sunrise UPC), Sunrise Communications, Swisscom