04 October 2000
Intensive analysis and negotiations with various potential buyers have underlined that a sale to Verestar is the best solution. Verestar will honour existing customer contracts which will be transferred by the end of 2000 and continue to employ the 25 employees. 41 employees originally worked at the satellite ground station in Leuk, and at the other locations in Zurich, Basle and Geneva. 16 of these have found alternative employment or have entered retirement. Verestar will take on the 25 employees under the same conditions and will meet the provisions of the collective labour agreement which enters into force in 2001.
The futureoriented solution was agreed on the basis of intensive cooperation between Swisscom and the local and cantonal authorities in Valais.
Verestar is a subsidiary of Tower Corporation which is quoted on the New York stock exchange (NYSE: AMT). This company has specialised in global, business-critical telecommunications. Verestar provides Internet, voice and data communications services for cruise ships and for the US government. The company, which already has over 10 satellite ground stations with over160 antenna, is the market leader in North America but did not have a presence in Europe. According to Alan Box, vice-chairman of Verestar´s board and senior executive, Swisscom´s facilities are the ideal complement to the American company´s activities: "The ground stations in Switzerland are our first foothold in Europe. They will create connections to all satellites in the area of the Indian Ocean and up-grade our current infrastructure. The long-term outlook for employees, customers and the community is good".