Swiss operator Sunrise is planning a €1 billion IPO in the first half of 2015 to boost its balance sheet and exploit growth opportunities.

The move comes less than a month after the number three player in market, Orange Switzerland, was acquired by Groupe Iliad founder Xavier Niel for €2.3 billion.

Sunrise, the market's second biggest player, is aiming to raise CHF1.35 billion (€1.1 billion) with its public listing.

It has 3.3 million customers across mobile, fixed voice and broadband and IPTV services. This equates to a 27 percent market share of the mobile market and a nine percent share of the fixed broadband market.

Revenues in the 12 months to September 2014 were CHF2 billion, with sales up 2.2 percent year-on-year in the third quarter.

The company plans to list on the SIX Swiss Exchange and said it is committed to returning CHF135 million via an absolute dividend to shareholders this year.

[Read more: Swiss operators make net neutrality pact]

Sunrise CEO Libor Voncina (pictured) said: “I am enthusiastic about the prospect of welcoming public shareholders into the Sunrise family and enabling them to invest in the largest fully-integrated challenger in the Swiss telecommunications market.

“The planned IPO will underpin the execution of our strategy and facilitate our ongoing investments into technology, customer care and network to continue the improvement of customer experience and service quality for our valued Swiss customers.

“We are excited about our growth prospects and believe that our strong cash flow profile will enable us to reward shareholders with an attractive distribution policy going forward.”​

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