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Swiss Govt to flog its share of Swisscom

Small investors offered 'people's shares'

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The Swiss Government published proposals to flog its 66 per cent stake in incumbent telco Swisscom.

To ensure it doesn't become a victim of a take-over bid, Government is looking to target small shareholders to buy into the telco as part of a "people's shares" scheme, although it accepts this might mean it won't get the highest price for its stake.

Instead, it's prepared to "consciously forego the idea of selling to obtain the highest possible price and is laying the foundations for Swisscom to be able to remain independent".

For its part, Swisscom has broadly welcomed the plan. Late last year the telco was forced to ditch plans to buy its Irish equivalent, Eircom, after it wase blocked by the Swiss Government. Officials were concerned Swisscom's plans to invest overseas were too risky.

In a statement today, Swisscom said: "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." ®

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