07 April 2004
Swisscom Broadcast is taking over 84.4% of the share capital of Tele Rätia AG (TRAG) from the canton of Grisons. TRAG provides terrestrial broadcasting of foreign television programmes as well as local radio and television programmes in Grisons and serves 195 communities. With a staff of five, the company generates annual revenue of around CHF 4 million.
Tele Rätia AG was founded in 1980 with the purpose of providing the canton of Grisons with foreign television programmes. Both foreign TV programmes and local television and radio programmes are today broadcast by TRAG in analogue form. The future of TRAG lies in the provision of a competitive offering in digital technology (DVB-T). This is in line with the strategy developed by the cantonal government of Grisons in 2002 which foresees the provision of cable television in the most densely populated centres only and therefore aims for widespread provision of terrestrial broadcasting.
Swisscom Broadcast is the leading infrastructure operator of radio services, wireless broadcasting and associated value-added services in Switzerland. With 240 employees, the company operates around 500 transmission sites and in 2003 posted revenue of CHF 149 million. Swisscom Broadcast is the ideal partner for the canton of Grisons and guarantees the targeted and professional expansion of the digital radio and television infrastructure. The takeover is subject to approval by the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) of the amendment of the concession from analogue to DVB-T technology.
The forthcoming switch from analogue to digital broadcasting technology will entail investments by Swisscom Broadcast of over CHF 15 million over the next few years. The parties have agreed not to disclose details of the takeover price for the majority holding in TRAG.
The acquisition will enable Swisscom Broadcast, a long-standing operator of transmission sites throughout Switzerland, to extend its geographical coverage in line with its current strategy. Thanks to its experience in the operation of DVB-T infrastructures (terrestrial broadcasting of digital television), the company is in a position to offer the people of Grisons high-quality television broadcasting over the long term.
Swisscom Broadcast intends to maintain the company's office in Grisons as well as all existing jobs and to promote the expansion of DVB-T infrastructures.
Bern, 7 April 2004