Liberty Global clears way for Sunrise takeover after being offered 82% shares

ZURICH (Reuters) – Liberty Global has been successful in its 6.8 billion Swiss franc ($8.74 billion) attempt to buy Switzerland’s Sunrise Communications after the all-cash offer was accepted by nearly 82% of the target’s shareholders.

Liberty Global, set up by U.S. cable pioneer John Malone, offered 110 Swiss francs per share of Sunrise, Switzerland’s second-biggest telecoms company, in a surprise deal in August.

The approach was a reversal of Sunrise’s failed bid to buy Liberty’s Swiss business, which collapsed after running into shareholder opposition last year.

At the end of the offer period on Oct. 8, 37.1 million Sunrise shares – equivalent to 81.98% of the voting rights and share capital – had been offered, the companies said on Wednesday in the definitive notice of the interim result.

The outcome, which exceeds the minimum acceptance threshold of two-thirds of all Sunrise shares being tendered, confirms the earlier provisional result.

An additional acceptance period of ten trading days will now start on Oct. 15 and run until Oct. 28.

An extraordinary shareholders meeting to be called by Sunrise will be held on or around Nov. 9, while Liberty Global intends to start the de-listing process for Sunrise from the SIX Swiss Exchange. It will also start the squeeze-out process for the remaining shareholders.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is the latest sign of consolidation in the telecom industry as companies try to cut costs and ramp up investments in technology.

($1 = 0.9151 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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Xilinx Shares Surge on Reports of $30 Billion AMD Takeover

Xilinx Inc.  (XLNX) – Get Report shares surged the most in nearly a year Friday following a report from the Wall Street Journal that the San Jose-based tech group could be bought by its chipmaking rival Advanced Micro Devices.  (AMD) – Get Report.

The Journal said the pair were in advanced merger talks that could value Xilinx at more than $30 billion, a 16% premium to the group’s closing price on Wall Street last night. Xilinx’s data-center chips have become much more valuable since the coronavirus pandemic triggered a surge in work-from-home dynamics that have pressured companies around the world to improve their technology and storage capabilities. 

AMD, meanwhile, has seen its share price rise nearly 90% so far this year, taking its market value past $100 billion, a move that gives the chipmaker substantial firepower — despite a small net cash position of just $1.1 billion — to absorb Xilinx in an all-stock deal.

“We believe Xilinx would be a good, high-quality target, providing AMD with another strong competitive product set against its archrival, Intel,” said KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts Weston Twigg and John Vinh. “Xilinx has substantially higher gross margins and operating margins, and the deal would likely be accretive for AMD, though the final price will be needed to calculate share dilution and EPS impact.”

“As for deal approval, trade war tensions add substantial risk; we think the deal could be approved, but it would likely take at least 1.5 years,” the pair added.  

Xilinx shares were marked 17% higher in pre-market trading, the biggest move since January 2019, to indicate an opening bell price of $124.00 each. AMD shares were marked 4.6% lower at $82.50 each.