TMT Finance writes that Swiss telcos Orange Switzerland and Sunrise are engaged in talks regarding pooling assets to compete more effectively with incumbent and dominant provider Swisscom. A network sharing deal is currently believed to be on the table, although a full-blown merger of the private equity-owned duo is also rumoured to be an option as the two continue to struggle against market leader Swisscom. According to TMT, Orange last year explored the possibility of selling off its tower assets, but declined to take the plans forward, whilst Sunrise parent CVC Capital Partners is reportedly considering a sale of its business which it values at EUR2.6 billion (USD3.97 billion).
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that state-backed incumbent Swisscom has controlled more than 60% of the wireless market for more than a decade, representing 60.3% of the space at the end of September 2013. A merger of Swisscom’s two rivals was put forward in late 2009, but the deal was rejected by the regulator, which saw the reduction in the number of competitors as detrimental to the segment. In the wake of the failed merger, TDC exited the market, selling Sunrise to CVC in 2010. France’s Orange Group followed suit shortly afterwards, offloading Orange Switzerland to Apax Partners in February 2012.