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Swiss Cablecom to be sold

Switzerland's leading cable network operator Cablecom is being sold. The announcement was made by the telecommunications company Swisscom - which owns a third of Cablecom.

This content was published on June 23, 1999 - 18:05

Switzerland's leading cable network operator Cablecom is being sold. The announcement was made by the telecommunications company Swisscom - which owns a third of Cablecom.

Swisscom said it and the two other main shareholders - the German companies Veba and Siemens - were selling their respective one-third stakes.

The new shareholders will have to take over the company's SFr1 billion ($666 million) in debts resulting from investments made by Cablecom. The firm said various potential buyers had already expressed an interest in acquiring the shares.

One potential group of investors is linked to private banker Ernst Müller-Möhl. Cablecom named no figures but earlier reports said the banker expected the company to be valued at about SFr2 billion ($1.2 billion).

Cablecom has more than one million customers - about 50 percent of the market. The company, which employs 1,300 people, expects to record a turnover of about SFr700 million ($450 million) during the current fiscal year. Profits for 1998 totalled SFr46 million ($29 million).

Citing a reason for its decision to sell, Swisscom said shareholdings such as its stake in Cablecom were not compatible with its core business. Swisscom added that it wanted to concentrate on expanding its internet and online activities.

In 1997, the federal competition commission recommended that Swisscom give up its stake in Cablecom. However, shortly before Swisscom's privatisation at the start of 1998, the government expressed its support for Swisscom's wish to retain its shareholding in Cablecom.

Even last May, after the cable company acquired Swisscom's competitor, the online service SwissOnline, Swisscom maintained it was not intending to give up its stake in Cablecom.



Sources: apd, sda-ats


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