20.11.2020 - 08:00 Uhr

freenet AG repays debts of 610.0 million euros after sale of Sunrise shares

  • Proceeds of around CHF 1.2 billion from the sold Sunrise shares received on 11 November 2020
  • Significant reduction of leverage ratio1 to around 1.7x EBITDA
  • Early repayment of the outstanding bank loan of 610.0 million euro

Büdelsdorf, 20 November 2020 – freenet AG [ISIN DE000A0Z2ZZ5] is today repaying the
syndicated bank loan of 610.0 million euros taken out to finance its equity stake in the Swiss telecommunications provider Sunrise Communications Group AG (Sunrise) acquired in 2016. The most recent average interest rate of the loan amounted to 1.6 per cent.

The funds for the repayment of the bullet loan derive from the sale of the Sunrise shares held by freenet AG to the US cable group Liberty Global, which had offered CHF 110 per Sunrise share in a public tender offer in August 2020. Through the complete sale of the total of 11,051,578 shares, freenet AG received Swiss francs equivalent to approximately 1.1 billion euros in cash on 11 November 2020.

"The sale of the Sunrise shares strengthens freenet AG’s capital base in the long term. The resulting reduction in debt, together with the optimized maturity structure of other financial liabilities in a challenging environment, makes the balance sheet future-proof and increases the financial flexibility.” explains Ingo Arnold, CFO of the freenet AG.

Thus, freenet AG stands by its promise to use the proceeds from the sale of its Sunrise investment primarily to repay bank liabilities. The company plans to repay further 200 million euros of financial debt by March 2021 at the latest. The remaining proceeds are planned to be reinvested in the business, utilized to the benefit of freenet shareholders and/ or used for further smaller debt repayments.

Together with the early refinancing of maturing promissory notes in the current fiscal year, the debt situation of freenet AG has thus eased considerably. As a result, the leverage ratio1 was reduced from 4.8 at the end of 2019 to currently around 1.7.

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1   Leverage ratio as of 30 September 2020 less cash from the sale of Sunrise shares (11,051,578 shares).

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Contact:

Investor Relations & ESG

freenet Group

Tel.: +49 (0) 40 / 513 06 778

Email: ir@freenet.ag

https://www.freenet-group.de/en/index.html 

 


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