08 November 2004
Swisscom is to sell its stake in Infonet Services Corporation (ISC) to British Telecommunications PLC (BT). Headquartered in the USA, ISC is a global provider of voice and data communications solutions . In return for the sale of its 17.7% holding in ISC, Swisscom will receive approximately USD 170 million in 2005. Swisscom has been managing its interest in ISC as a financial participation for some time.
The minority holding in ISC offers Swisscom limited options and constrains its ability to influence business direction and management. Swisscom has therefore been managing its interest in ISC as a financial participation to date, and has now decided to realise the value of the holding.
In BT, Swisscom has found an investor who will continue to develop ISC's business. Continuity of service to customers in Switzerland will be ensured by extending existing distribution contracts with ISC. Infonet Schweiz AG, in which Swisscom still holds a 90% stake, will continue in operation and existing customer relations will not be affected.
The proceeds of around USD 170 million, to be realised in 2005 from the sale of Swisscom's stake in ISC, will raise equity free cash flow (the basis on which Swisscom's dividend policy is determined) by this same amount. The parties have agreed not to disclose any further details of the transaction. The takeover is subject to approval from anti-trust authorities. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first half of 2005. Additional information on Infonet Services Corporation is available at www.infonet.com.
Berne, 8 November 2004