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

·3-min read

DGAP-News: freenet AG / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
20.11.2020 / 06:00
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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 euros

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.

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

******************************
freenet Group
Investor Relations & ESG

Deelbögenkamp 4
22297 Hamburg
Phone: +49 40 / 513 06 778
Fax: +49 40 / 513 06 970
Mail: ir@freenet.ag

Further information at http://www.freenet-group.de/investor-relations.


20.11.2020 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at www.dgap.de

Language:

English

Company:

freenet AG

Hollerstrasse 126

24782 Buedelsdorf

Germany

Phone:

+49 (0)40 51306-778

Fax:

+49 (0)40 51306-970

E-mail:

ir@freenet.ag

Internet:

www.freenet-group.de

ISIN:

DE000A0Z2ZZ5, DE000A1KQXU0

WKN:

A0Z2ZZ , A1KQXU

Indices:

MDAX, TecDAX

Listed:

Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange

EQS News ID:

1149430


 

End of News

DGAP News Service

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