Sunrise launches shares on Swiss exchange

Sunrise, Switzerland’s second biggest telecommunications firm, entered the Swiss stock exchange on Friday after raising 1.99 billion francs ($2.16 billion) in an initial public offering (IPO) of 29.3 million shares, the company said.

Sunrise launches shares on Swiss exchange
Dominik Koechlin, chairman of Sunrise's board and CEO Libor Voncina ring bell at Swiss exchange on Friday. Photo: SIX Swiss Exchange

The initial price of the shares was 68 francs but investors bid the price up beyond 70 francs in early morning trading.

The IPO was the biggest on Switzerland’s stock exchange since 2006 , Sunrise said.

The company said that because of strong demand for shares from a “broad range of institutions” it decided to increase its offering by five million shares.

British investment company CVC Capital Partners, which controlled 90 percent of Sunrise when it was privately held, is expected to see its stake reduced to as little as 25 percent through the share offering.

The offering consisted of 20 million new shares issued by the company and 9.3 million shares offered by the selling shareholder.

A syndicate of banks has been offered an option to acquire 4.1 million additional existing shares until March 8th.

Sunrise said it plans to use 1.36 billion francs in proceeds from the IPO to “substantially strengthen its balance sheet and exploit future growth opportunities”.

With 2.5 million mobile and 400,000 land-line customers, the company is the second biggest telecom in Switzerland behind dominant player Swisscom and ahead of Orange.

Sunrise generated total revenues of two billion francs in 2013.

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Swisscom to start charging 2.90 francs for paper bills

Swiss telecommunications giant Swisscom is set to introduce new fees for customers who wish to receive a simple, non-itemized hard copy of their latest bill.

Swisscom to start charging 2.90 francs for paper bills
Swisscom has justified the new charges by saying they are standard industry practice. Photo: AFP

Until now, customers have been able to receive one of these basic bills for free, but as of October 1st, a fee of 2.90 Swiss francs (around €2.60) will apply.

At the same time, the current fee of 1.50 francs for receipt of a detailed bill will rise to 2.90 francs.

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Meanwhile, people wishing to pay their bills over the counter at a post office will have to shell out 3.90 francs as of October 1st.

Customers affected by the changes will be notified on all their bills before the new charges come in.

Holders of basic service products including Swisscom Line Basic and Swisscom Internet Basic will be exempt from the new charges.

In a statement on the new fees on its website, Swisscom said that printed bills cost the company millions every year and that these costs should not be passed on to all customers.

The same applied to costs associated with over-the-counter services at post offices, the company said.

Swisscom also justified the changes by stating these were now standard industry practice.

Rival provider UPC charges 3 francs for sending out paper bills and up to 7.50 francs for paying bills at the post office. Salt charges 2 francs a month for sending out basic bills and 5 francs a month for detailed bills. Salt also charges 3.95 francs to customers who want to pay their bills at the post office.

For Sunrise, paper bills cost 3 francs for the basic version and 4 francs for a detailed version. Payment with a so-called red slip costs 5 francs whether this is done online or in a post office.

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