The German telecoms investor has signed a binding agreement to tender its 24.2% stake at 110 Swiss francs after the Sunrise board backed Liberty’s cash offer. It paid 70 Swiss francs.
“It’s a fair valuation,” Vilanek told Reuters. “We believe that a merger on sensible terms makes sense.”
He anticipated no antitrust obstacles after Switzerland’s cartel authorities raised no objections to a proposed deal last year for Sunrise to buy Liberty’s Swiss cable unit UPC. Freenet’s opposition effectively scuppered that deal.
Freenet will reap 1.1 billion euros ($1.29 billion) in proceeds from the sale, from which it will repay 800 million in debt as required under its loan covenants.
As a result, its leverage ratio will fall to around 2 times, below its target level of 2.5. “That is very healthy,” Vilanek said.