Swisscom has sold its 45.5 per cent stake in Austria's UTA Telekom to Vereinigte Osterreich Beteiligungs (VTOB) for an undisclosed sum.This content was published on January 31, 2002 - 11:14
The move, announced on Thursday, comes as part of the Swiss telecommunication group's drive to streamline its international operations.
Joint UTA owner VTOB, which is made up of eight regional Austrian utilities, will continue to develop UTA's fixed network and Internet activities together with Austrian Raiffeisen Group, which also holds shares in UTA.
Swisscom, the dominant Swiss telecommunications operator, said commercial links with UTA, which employs 640 persons, would be maintained.
Swisscom also announced a waiver of about SFr210 million worth of loans which it had granted to UTA, adding that the respective write-off would be booked in its 2001 accounts.
A spokeswoman added that a decision had been taken on the write-off prior to the sale "to allow UTA to develop further".
The sale is part of Swisscom's international strategy to focus on mobile service providing and data business.
swissinfo with agencies