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Swisscom acquires majority shareholding in Germany's Debitel

The Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom announced Friday it is acquiring a 58 percent share in the German firm Debitel. The SFr2.6 billion ($1.7 billion) deal is Swisscom’s largest-ever investment in a company.

This content was published on July 9, 1999 - 13:07

The Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom announced Friday it is acquiring a 58 percent share in the German firm Debitel. The SFr2.6 billion ($1.7 billion) deal is Swisscom’s largest-ever investment in a company.

Swisscom is taking over 32 percent of the shares from the car manufacturer Daimler-Chrysler and the remainder from the trading company Metro as well as Divaco, a joint-venture between Metro and Deutsche Bank.

Debitel board chairman Joachim Dreyer said Debitel had found in Swisscom the ideal strategic communications partner it had been looking for since being quoted on the stock exchange at the end of March. Swisscom has one of the world’s most modern networks as well as experience in network technology and product innovation, added Dreyer.

Debitel is based in Stuttgart and serves 3.8 million customers. It describes itself as the largest telephone company in Europe with an independent network.

In 1998, Debitel recorded pre-tax profits of DM125 million ($65 million) on a turnover of DM2.87 billion ($1.5 billion).

Swisscom described the acquisition – which will allow it to double its customer base to 7 million - as an important step to becoming a significant telecommunications provider in the heart of Europe.

Swisscom reported net profits of SFr1.55 billion ($1 billion) on a turnover of SFr10.4 billion ($6.6 billion) for 1998.


From staff with wire reports

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