25 January 2006
The Federal Council has today published the consultation document for the disposal of the Swiss federal government's majority holding in Swisscom. Swisscom will examine the document and accompanying measures in detail before responding. Swisscom views the proposal as positive overall and expects the political issue to be rapidly resolved. The sale of the government's controlling interest will increase Swisscom's corporate strategic flexibility in a rapidly evolving international environment.
Swisscom will examine in detail the consultation document published today by the Federal Council, and especially the accompanying measures it contains and those that will be the subject of further debate. To set a benchmark for evaluating the proposals, Swisscom's Board of Directors has identified the following seven factors as core criteria for the company: long-term returns for shareholders (total shareholder return over 10 years); customer satisfaction; competitiveness; innovativeness; corporate flexibility; the ability to make acquisitions and form alliances, and attractiveness as an employer.
Swisscom has already given its response to two accompanying measures. If the government's stake is reduced, Swisscom believes it essential that the shares and rights in the stake are in line with Swiss company law - i.e. that in the interests of equal treatment of all shareholders, the government is not granted any special rights.
Swisscom is also firmly against any separation of its networks and services by, for example, the creation of a special network operating company. This is because the industry trend is moving in the opposite direction, with ever-increasing convergence between mobile and fixed networks and the related services and terminal devices, while customers are increasingly seeking one-stop solutions. Swisscom considers it would be virtually impossible to implement a demerger and that it would have highly detrimental consequences for Swisscom's competitiveness compared with its rivals and destroy value for shareholders.