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Press release

New owner for Swisscom Systems' Repair Service Center

20 August 2004

With effect from 1 October 2004, Swisscom Systems is to sell its Repairs Service Center (SCR) in Thun to Combase AG of Germany, which is aiming to expand into the Swiss market. The activities of the SCR Thun are no longer a core business of Swisscom Systems. The location and the 72 full-time jobs will be retained after ownership is transferred.

The Repairs Service Center (SCR) in Thun was created in 1993 from the workshops of the former Telecom Directorate Thun. Thanks to rigorous process and cost management, it established itself as a highly competent and profitable provider of after-sales services for fixed-network telephones, modems and routers, fax machines, public payphones, paging systems and private branch exchanges (PBX). Between 1999 and 2000 the unit was reorganised and turned into a Swisscom profit centre, with independent profit responsibility. The SCR Thun is the only repair centre for after-sales services within Swisscom Systems. In 2003 it posted revenues of CHF 19 million, of which CHF 16 million was generated by business with Swisscom Group companies.

The sale will permit Swisscom Systems and the SCR Thun to focus on their respective core businesses. The SCR Thun also anticipates an increase in orders from customers other than Swisscom as a result of the change of ownership. Services and contact partners will remain unchanged for existing customers.

Combase AG, the new owner of the SCR Thun, is a logistics and service provider for electronic and electro-technical products, specialising in the telecommunications industry, IT sector and home entertainment electronics. Based in Karlstein near Frankfurt am Main, the company and its subsidiaries have for many years implemented a successful holistic service, sales and logistics concept that covers the spectrum from pre-sales marketing services to equipment recycling. Combase has established itself on the German market as a service and repair partner. With a workforce of 650, the company's service business is expected to earn revenues of around EUR 115 million in 2004. Combase is aiming to further develop the Swiss company along the lines of its successful German business model. Combase's investment in Thun will be held via main shareholder Bernhard Frerick's CapCo Holding AG, a wholly-owned Swiss subsidiary of the German company CapCo GmbH.

The SCR in Thun employs a workforce of 77 (72 full-time equivalents), plus eight trainees and 14 temporary staff. Combase AG is offering all permanent employees a guaranteed contract for at least 24 months and appropriate transfer conditions, guaranteed for at least one year. Swisscom Ltd will keep on those trainees who have already begun their training at SCR, and will take responsibility for their training. The apprentices will be able to complete the technical part of their programme in Thun. Combase AG has assured Swisscom that it will continue to assign ten practical internships a year to its electronics apprentices for that purpose.

Berne, 20 August 2004


Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern