Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity has sold its stake in Swiss broadcasting group, Belcom. For the sum of CHF92 million, Zurich-based media group Tamedia has acquired 100% of the shares in Belcom Holding AG, which includes the Radio24, TeleZüri, Belcom and TakeoffCommunications businesses.
Approval for the deal from the Swiss competition and communication authorities has yet to be finalised, but Michel Favre, CEO of Tamedia is confident the transaction will go ahead.
Belcom’s national television station, Tele 24, will not be taken over, as Tamedia already owns the Swiss television group, TV3. CSFB and Swiss media entrepreneur Roger Schawinski, who was the majority shareholder in Belcom, will take on closure costs of Tele 24 from the proceeds of the sale.
International Private Equity Fund, the private equity division of CSFB, acquired a 40% stake in Belcom in 1999. Upon completion of the deal, Schawinski will withdraw from active business concerning the company.
With the acquisition, Tamedia is continuing to build on its core activity of electronic media. The management of the Radio 24, TeleZüri and TV3 businesses under the Tamedia roof will open up synergies, while maintaining journalistic independence. “Part of our acquisition strategy is to maintain culture as a central factor for success, that is to allow the companies and brands taken over to remain independent,” says Favre.