Berne, 28 June 2007
Swisscom is selling its Accarda subsidiary in order to concentrate on its core business and selected related activities. Accarda is currently the leading provider in Switzerland of customer cards offering payment and credit functions.
The company's future success is highly dependent on the expansion of the financial side of the business. With its new owner, Accarda will be in a better position to leverage these opportunities and initiate the next stages of development. Swisscom firmly believes that Accarda's potential for growth can be fully exploited through its sale to the Maus Group.
The integration of Accarda in the Maus Group is preceded by over 20 years of successful cooperation. The international retail group intends to continue to manage the card business as an independent company and expand its position on the market. The new owner will take on all 200 employees currently working for the Card Services unit within Accarda.
The Collection Services unit of Accarda and the subsidiaries Billag AG and Medipa AG are not directly affected by the deal. These units and their staff will remain part of Swisscom and become part of the Related Businesses unit. From 1 July 2007, Collection Services will become an independent company operating under the name of Alphapay AG.
The payment activities of Swisscom are also not affected by the sale and will continue to be operated as planned.
Accarda AG, until now a wholly owned subsidiary of Swisscom, whose headquarters are in Brüttisellen and which employs around 260 persons (including what will become the independent Collection Services unit), is the leading Swiss provider of services for customer cards offering payment and credit functions. The company currently processes around 1.9 million card accounts for various retailers and oil companies. Its largest customer by far is the Maus Group.
Founded in 1902, the Maus Frères Group, whose headquarters are in Geneva, is wholly owned by the heirs of its original founders. In 2006, it posted revenues totalling just under CHF 6 billion and employs around 12,000 persons in Switzerland and 7,000 globally. As one of the leading Swiss department stores, along with Manor, it is also developing other chains to the same level of success: Carrefour, Do-It-Yourself Jumbo, Fly and Athleticum, not to mention the Manora restaurants.
On an international level, the Group has bought back and revamped the Aigle brand (sports clothing), and manages Devanlay (Lacoste textiles), the Parashop chain, the French leader in self-service pharmacies and a chain of fashion boutiques in China.