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France Telecom and TDC to Merge Swiss Networks

30 ноября 2009

In a surprise move, France Telecom and TDC have announced the merger of their Swiss operations to form a new single entity. France Telecom will pay at closing a net amount of EUR 1.5 billion (US$2.24 billion) to TDC and, as a result of a series of steps, become a 75% shareholder in the combined entity, and TDC will hold the remaining 25%.

With approximately 3.4 million mobile and 1.1 million fixed and broadband customers , the combined entity will account for around 38% of the mobile telephony market and 13% of the fixed broadband connections . For 2008, the combined entity would have generated total pro-forma revenues of EUR 2 billion (US$3 billion) and EBITDA of EUR 534 million (US$78 million).

Gervais Pellissier, France Telecom Deputy CEO and CFO, said: "The planned merger of Sunrise and Orange Switzerland marks a new significant step in the long-term investment by France Telecom-Orange in Switzerland. Following the UK joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile, France Telecom completes another major in-market consolidation, consistent with its M&A policy."

Joint mobile network development is also expected to lead to a reduction of around one third in the projected number of mobile telephone antennas compared to the original standalone network build-up plans.

Estimated Opex-based synergies, arising in particular from Network & IT, distribution, marketing and workforce optimisation, are expected to reach an annual run-rate of EUR 132 million. Significant Capex savings of EUR 376 million are expected between 2010 and 2015 (net of integration Capex) and a run-rate Capex savings of EUR 43 million per annum from 2015

The Board of the combined entity will be composed of representatives of TDC and France Telecom, with France Telecom holding the majority of the seats. Thomas Sieber will be the Chief Executive Officer of the combined entity. After successfully having repositioned Sunrise in the market over the last three years, Christoph Brand will continue as Sunrise's CEO up until the completion of the transaction. Post-closing Christoph Brand will help supervise the initial integration, before moving on to pursue new executive opportunities outside of the combined entity.

A series of dividend payments and share buybacks have also been agreed that could eventually reduce TDC's shareholding in the company to nothing based on agreed values for the investment.

After closing, France Telecom will fully consolidate the combined entity, whilst TDC will recognise its interest in the company using the equity method.

Источник: Cellular news

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