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Sunrise scraps meeting to approve rights issue for UPC takeover

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Sunrise scraps meeting to approve rights issue for UPC takeover
FILE PHOTO: Swiss telecom company Sunrise's logo is seen at its headquarters in Opfikon, Switzerland February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo   -   Copyright  Arnd Wiegmann(Reuters)
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ZURICH (Reuters) – Sunrise Communications Group <SRCG.S> called off a shareholders meeting set for Wednesday to approve a rights issue needed to complete its 6.3 billion Swiss franc ($6.39 billion) acquisition of Liberty Global’s <LBTYA.O> UPC business.

“Based on clear indications received from shareholders and Freenet’s <FNTGn.DE> announcement to vote against the capital increase at the EGM, the Board of Directors of Sunrise has concluded that the clear majority of shareholders who have registered their shares to vote at the EGM do not support the capital increase,” it said.

Freenet, which is Sunrise’s biggest shareholder, and other investors had opposed the 2.8 billion franc rights issue, forcing Sunrise into the climbdown.

“We regret cancelling the EGM. 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,” Sunrise Chairman Peter Kurer said.

It said it cancelled the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) with Liberty Global’s consent.

“The share purchase agreement remains in force and effect unless terminated by a party and has a long stop date of 27 February 2020,” it added

($1 = 0.9863 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by John Miller and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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