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Sunrise cancels capital increase meeting for UPC Schweiz deal

Sunrise Communications Group AG called off an extraordinary shareholders meeting scheduled for Oct. 23.

The company had planned to seek shareholders' approval for a proposed capital increase to fund the acquisition of Liberty Global PLC unit UPC Schweiz.

The Swiss telco canceled the meeting with Liberty Global's consent, after concluding that a majority of its shareholders would not support the capital increase. The decision invalidates Liberty Global's offer to invest up to CHF500 million in the rights issuance.

Sunrise and Liberty Global, however, said the acquisition deal is still in effect, with a long stop date of Feb. 27, 2020. The agreement would have minor changes, including the flexibility to set a new shareholders' meeting as well as adjusted termination rights.

"We have spent a significant amount of time engaging with our shareholders and continue to believe in the compelling strategic and financial rationale of the acquisition," said Sunrise Chairman Peter Kurer.

German operator Freenet AG and several other Sunrise investors earlier said they would oppose the CHF6.3 billion transaction and the related rights issuance proposal.

Further, Sunrise said a majority of its shareholders would not support motions to remove Kurer and director Jens Jesper Ovesen.