TDC Owners Looking at “Strategic Alternatives”

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Danish telecom operator TDC (TDC.CO), which has been widely tipped as a candidate for a big stock offering, said on Monday its main owner had begun reviewing “strategic alternatives” for the company.

Sources told Reuters earlier in November that Nordic Telephone Company (NTC), a partnership of private equity firms that holds nearly 88 percent of the stock, was meeting banks to discuss selling part of TDC, which it took over in 2006 for nearly 9 billion euros ($13.5 billion). 

NTC is owned by funds controlled or advised by private equity investment firms Apax Partners, the Blackstone Group (BX.N), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), Permira Advisers and Providence Equity Partners.

“TDC will to the extent necessary and appropriate assist in this strategic review,” TDC said in a statement.

“TDC does not expect to publicly disclose additional information regarding the status of the review of strategic alternatives until the review has been completed,” TDC added.

TDC shares closed down 1.6 percent at 216.50 crowns shortly after the announcement, valuing the company at about $8.6 billion.

An offering of TDC stock would likely be worth billions of dollars, depending on how far the NTC partners chose to dilute their stakes.

The 2006 takeover of TDC was Europe’s biggest leveraged buyout (LBO) at the time, eclipsed only by KKR’s 11.1 billion pound ($18.44 billion) deal for Alliance Boots the following year.

Permira co-managing partner Kurt Bjorklund said last month that Permira was preparing a number of companies in its portfolio for public offerings, but he declined to name them. (Reporting by John Acher, editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.6679 Euro) ($1=4.969 Danish Crown) ($1=.6020 Pound)