Swiss Sunrise sold to private equity for US$3.2bn

Sunrise, Switzerland's second largest mobile operator, has been acquired by private equity funds advised by CVC Capital Partners for US$3.27 billion. The operator has been a subsidiary of Denmark's TDC for the last 10 years.

Earlier this year, the sale of Sunrise to France Telecom had to be abandoned after the Swiss competition authorities ruled it would be bad for consumers. The proposed merger of Sunrise with third-placed Orange Switzerland would, the regulator decided, have given the combined company a dominant position in the market.

The sale will be seen by TDC--which now wants to focus on its Nordic assets, as a most welcome move following the failure of its earlier disposal to France Telecom. While the sale price will see TDC receiving 7 per cent less from CVC than was offered by France Telecom, the Danish company will have access to the funds as soon as approval is given, and will not forced to wait several years for full payment under the previous deal.

Commenting on the deal, Oliver Steil, Sunrise CEO, said CVC would be a strong and long-term oriented financial partner which would support the company's plan to drive investment in both its network and customer service.

TDC is said to have invested over US$2 billion in mobile and fixed infrastructure in Switzerland, and claims to have nearly three million subscribers.

For more on this story:
- read Telegeography

Related stories:
Swiss operators consider sharing LTE network
Orange/Sunrise merger blocked by Swiss regulator
FT Orange: EMEA acquisitions likely in coming months
TDC Denmark preps LTE for June launch