Liberty Global to spin-off 100% of Sunrise to shareholders

Friday, February 16th, 2024 
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Liberty Global Announces Intention to Spin-Off 100% of Sunrise to Shareholders

  • The spin-off aims to maximize shareholder value by unlocking the fully distributed value of Sunrise over time, supported by Sunrise’s fully integrated FMC challenger position, attractive growth outlook, excellent expected cash generation and experienced management team
  • Liberty Global will invest up to CHF1.5B ($1.7B1) for debt reduction, underpinning a strong initial leverage range of 3.5-4.5x. This will be funded through Sunrise FCF generation and Liberty Global corporate liquidity, including non-core asset disposal proceeds
  • Sunrise’s strong cash generation profile expected to support attractive shareholder returns including dividends, deleveraging and continued investment to support future growth
  • Sunrise will be listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange with two classes of shares
  • Liberty Global has appointed J.P. Morgan and UBS as financial advisors
  • The proposed spin-off is expected to be tax free for US shareholders of Liberty Global with evaluation of tax treatment in other jurisdictions ongoing and is subject to market conditions, board approval of the final terms of the transaction, shareholder approval and other customary closing conditions
  • Sunrise will host a Capital Markets Day in due course to provide more information on Sunrise and the proposed transaction

DENVER, Colorado — Liberty Global Ltd. (Liberty Global) (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) today announces its intention to spin-off 100% of Sunrise to Liberty Global shareholders. The transaction aims to maximize shareholder value by crystallizing the value of Sunrise, allowing shareholders to fully participate in the future growth and upside of both Sunrise and Liberty Global. The spin-off will also provide scope to broaden and deepen the investor base given the distinct and compelling investment profiles of both Sunrise and Liberty Global.

The spin-off will leverage the full potential of Sunrise as a locally listed FMC challenger, building on the successful integration of Sunrise and UPC since their combination in 2020. The operational business will not be affected by the spin-off. Customers, employees, suppliers, or other stakeholders can rely on continuity.

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries commented: “The proposed spin-off of Sunrise to Liberty Global shareholders is aligned with our strategy of unlocking value by allowing our shareholders to directly participate in the future performance of Sunrise. Liberty is fully committed to listing Sunrise with a strong capital structure which, alongside its future cash generation potential, will underpin Sunrise’s attractive equity story and scope for dividends.”

Sunrise CEO André Krause said: “We are excited at the prospect of being listed in Switzerland once again and providing local and international investors with access to our scaled FMC challenger position in the market. Following the successful integration and synergy delivery of the UPC combination, Sunrise has a very strong FCF profile and plans to offer an attractive shareholder remuneration framework. We will present more detail at a Capital Markets Day later this year.”

Key Sunrise investment highlights include:

  • Attractive macro and telecom market: 100% exposure to the attractive Swiss telecom market, characterized by favorable macro fundamentals including low inflation, appealing tax environment and low cost of capital, a stable three-player structure and supportive regulatory framework
  • Strong fully-converged national challenger: Clear number two operator with scaled positions across all fixed, mobile and converged products in the market
  • Best 5G coverage and next-generation fixed network: Delivering nationwide 5G and 1 GIG coverage to support a multi-brand strategy and converged offerings
  • Multiple growth levers: Strategy focused on growing share in B2B and B2C segments, combined with further cost efficiencies and low capital intensity, benefiting from high quality, well-invested infrastructure and attractive wholesale economics
  • High cash generating asset: Sunrise benefits from strong cash generation and expects to have a more de-levered balance sheet with a long-term fixed rate debt profile (with 5 years average maturity, ~3% average cost of debt) enabling an attractive dividend distribution policy going forward
  • Experienced management team: Sunrise leadership have strong telecoms track record and experience in managing a listed company with CEO André Krause and CFO Jany Fruytier

The listing of Sunrise on the SIX Swiss Exchange is planned for 2H24. Sunrise will be listed with a long dated, low-cost capital structure supported by up to CHF1.5B ($1.7B2) of debt reduction. The debt reduction is expected to be accomplished through Sunrise’s expected FCF generation, debt optimization and Liberty Global corporate liquidity including non-core asset disposals at Liberty Global.

Following a strong Q423 performance at Sunrise with a return to both revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth, we are communicating the following Sunrise financial guidance for 20243: stable revenue, stable to low-single digit adjusted EBITDA growth on a rebased basis4, P&E additions as a percentage of sales of 16-18% including costs to capture, and adjusted FCF5 range of CHF360-400m, prior to any de-leveraging benefit.

The proposed spin-off is expected to be tax-free for Liberty Global US shareholders with evaluation of tax treatment in other jurisdictions ongoing and is subject to market conditions, board approval of the final terms of the spin-off, Liberty Global shareholder approval and other customary conditions.

Following the Sunrise spin-off, Liberty Global will retain its consolidated interests in Telenet, Virgin Media Ireland, and its joint venture stakes in Virgin Media-O2 and VodafoneZiggo in addition to its Ventures portfolio and significant remaining cash balance.

Liberty Global believes the spin-off will deliver significant benefits for both Liberty Global and Sunrise shareholders, including through:

  • Optimized capital structures to pursue their distinct strategic agendas for long-term value creation
  • Distinct and compelling investment profiles appealing to broader, deeper investor bases including local Swiss/European investors as well as index/passive demand for Sunrise

Links: Liberty Global; Sunrise