Sunrise Communications AG

Last updated
Sunrise Communications AG
Type Limited company
Industry Telecommunications
Key people
André Krause (CEO)
Thomas D. Meyer (Chairman of the Board) [1]
  • Landline & Mobile Telephony
  • Landline & Mobile Internet
  • Digital Television
  • IT Services & Networking Solutions
Revenue CHF1.887 billion (2019) [2]
Owner Liberty Global
Number of employees
c. 1739 (2019) [2]
Website Official website
Primary ASN 6730
Traffic Levels100–200 Gbps [3]

Sunrise Communications AG (commonly known as Sunrise), is a Swiss telecommunications provider based in Zurich, owned by Liberty Global. It has 2.99 million customers making it the second-largest telecommunications company in Switzerland after Swisscom. [4] It provides mobile, TV and landline phone and internet services. Since February 2019, Sunrise headquarters are located at Thurgauerstrasse 101b, Glattpark Opfikon. [5] Formerly a subsidiary of TDC A/S, Sunrise had been owned by CVC Capital Partners until 2015. In February 2015, CVC realised an IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Since then, Sunrise stocks are publicly traded at the Swiss Stock Exchange. In August 2020, Liberty Global announced that it will be acquiring Sunrise for $7.4 billion. The transaction was completed on November 11, 2020. [6]



Sunrise was created out of the fusion between diAx and sunrise in 2001. diAx was founded in 1997, started operating in December 1998, and belonged to 40% of the American SBC Communications, 50% of Swiss energy suppliers, and 10% of the Swiss companies Federal RWE AG. Sunrise then belonged mainly to the BT Group and the Danish Tele Danmark (TDC A/S), with Migros and the Swiss Federal Railways as junior partners. In 2000, the two companies wanted to prevent paying the bill for the UMTS licenses. Through the merger of diAx and sunrise, there were only four applicants registered for the four UMTS licenses. After the fusion, the new brand name sunrise and the new company TDC Switzerland AG became the 100% subsidiary of TDC A/S.

At the end of January 2006, Nordic Telephone Company (NTC) acquired 88.2% of the shares of TDC A/S, Sunrise's parent company. On 4 October 2007, the name of the company was changed to Sunrise Communications AG and the brand name Sunrise was capitalised. As a new logo, the "Sunrise" label is written in the Frutiger font style, which is intended to underline the Swiss anchorage of the company. In addition, its new motto is "Brave. Vital. Honest. Easy."

On 29 September 2008, Sunrise announced the acquisition of the competitor Tele2 Switzerland. Tele2, which had more than 491,000 customers, initially remained a brand and the employees were taken over. As of 1 November 2011, however, license rights expired on the name "Tele2", and it was changed to "Tele4U". [7]

In November 2009, France Télécom and TDC announced the intention to merge their Swiss subsidiaries Orange Communications and Sunrise. At the new company, France Télécom should hold 75% of shares and TDC 25%. Combined, the new company would have a market share of around 38% for mobile communications and around 13% for broadband connections. On 22 April 2010, the Competition Commission (WEKO) prohibited the merger. The reason for this was the market dominance in the mobile market of the merged company together with Swisscom. In addition, the most active network operator in the market would be excluded from the market. [8]

In September 2010, TDC A/S and the Luxembourg-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, announced that they had reached an agreement to purchase Sunrise through CVC for CHF3.3 billion. The transaction was executed after approval by the Swiss competition and regulatory authorities on 28 October 2010.

In 2015 Sunrise went on the stock exchange. The German telecommunication provider Freenet has been the main shareholder since 2016. [9]

In February 2019, Sunrise agreed on the acquisition of UPC Switzerland from Liberty Global for CHF6.3 billion, [10] pending financing and approval of the Swiss trade commission. On 27 February 2019, Sunrise Communications announced the planned acquisition of UPC Switzerland from the British media group Liberty Global for CHF 6.3 billion (around EUR 5.5 billion). [11] Shortly after the agreement was signed, the main shareholder Freenet demanded renegotiations. [12] The takeover application was examined by the Competition Commission and approved unconditionally. [13] In September 2019, the Competition Commission granted its approval. The next step was for Sunrise shareholders to agree to the required capital increase. [14] [15] When it became clear in October 2019 that the takeover deal would not receive a majority of shareholder votes, the extraordinary general meeting was cancelled and the contract with Liberty Global, the owner of UPC, was terminated. [16] [17] As of 12 November 2019 Sunrise canceled the share purchase agreement with Liberty Global. [18]

At the end of May 2020, it became known that Sunrise was able to achieve partial success in a far-reaching lawsuit against Swisscom regarding the allegation of abuse of its dominant position in the market for broadband Internet access (ADSL) in the years 2001 to 2007 and their resulting pricing policy. This allegation was confirmed by the Swiss Competition Commission in 2009 and Swisscom was subsequently fined around CHF 220 million. Swisscom lodged an appeal but the appeal court confirmed the judgement in a slightly milder form. Sunrise had demanded damages totalling CHF 350 million excluding interest. [17]

In August 2020, Liberty Global announced that it will be acquiring Sunrise for $7.4 billion dollars. Liberty Global attempted to buy Sunrise multiple times before; This was completed in November 2020. [19]

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  6. "Information about the announced acquisition of Sunrise by Liberty Global". Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  7. "Aus Tele2 wird Tele4U". PCtipp. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  8. "WEKO untersagt Zusammenschluss von Orange und Sunrise". Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft Der Bundesrat. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  9. David Klier (11 April 2016). "CVC löst sich von Sunrise". IT-Markt. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  10. Anouch Seydtaghia (27 February 2019). "Sunrise rachète UPC: un nouveau géant se dresse face à Swisscom".
  11. "Großfusion auf Schweizer Telecommarkt: Sunrise übernimmt UPC". Heise Online. 28 February 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  12. "Die Skepsis des Sunrise-Ankeraktionärs ist verständlich". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 6 March 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  13. "Sunrise darf UPC Schweiz übernehmen – keine Einwände der Weko". Aargauer Zeitung. 26 September 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  14. "Weko genehmigt UPC-Übernahme durch Sunrise". 20 Minuten. 26 September 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  15. "UPC-Sunrise-Saga: Jetzt kann es schnell gehen". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 27 October 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  16. "Bei Sunrise hinterlässt der gescheiterte UPC-Deal Spuren". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  17. 1 2 Henning Gajek (20 May 2020). "Vorleistung: Sunrise will 330 Millionen Schadensersat". Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  18. Sunrise begräbt UPC-Deal – 50 Millionen Strafe - 20 Minuten
  19. Nillson, Patricia; Fildes, Nic (2020-08-12). "Liberty Global to buy Sunrise in $7.4bn Swiss telecoms deal". Financial Times. Retrieved 2020-08-12.