Liberty Global CFO: Sunrise-UPC deal made sense, still worth pursuing

FILE PHOTO: The logos of Swiss telecom company Sunrise and broadband and telecommunications provider UPC Schweiz are seen at a shop in Zurich, Switzerland October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

BARCELONA (Reuters) - The failed takeover of Liberty Global's LBTYA.O Swiss unit UPC by Sunrise SRCG.S made industrial sense and would still be worth trying, Liberty Chief Financial Officer Charlie Bracken said on Wednesday.

“If you look at the industrial logic of the deal it’s very compelling,” Bracken told the Morgan Stanley European TMT Conference in Barcelona, adding that he saw “a lot of reasons to monetise” the synergies it promised.

Bracken also said that Liberty would look opportunistically at listing its local units to crystallise the value of their cash flows. This would be interesting in the Swiss context due to the country’s negative interest rates, he added.

Asked about whether Liberty would consider a combination between UPC and Salt, another Swiss operator, Bracken said potential operating synergies would be lower than with Sunrise but that a deal could be doable.

“The exam question is relative value,” said Bracken. “There’s lots of ways you can combine companies without having to put cash in.”

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by Paul Sandle and Jason Neely