TDC sells Swiss business to private equity

Danish telco TDC has sold its Swiss subsidiary Sunrise to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for $3.3 billion, subject to approval by Swiss regulatory authorities.

TDC acquired Sunrise 10 years ago as it sought to diversify beyond its home market, and has since invested heavily in both mobile and fixed infrastructure in Switzerland to enable it to compete with larger operations like Swisscom.

Until a few months ago, TDC was in dialogue with France Telecom about merging Sunrise with the Orange network in Switzerland. The plan was vetoed by the Swiss Competition Commission (Comco), concerned that a merged operation would leave the country with only two major networks. Analysts are now speculating that CVC may be planning an as yet unannounced move to resuscitate the Orange deal, if regulators can be persuaded that consumer interests would not be harmed.

“We now have the backing of a strong and longterm oriented financial partner which supports our plan to drive investment in both our network and our customer service,” said Oliver Steil, CEO of Sunrise.

TDC chief executive Henrik Poulsen described the sale as “a natural next step in our wish to focus TDC as a Nordic communications company”.

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