TDC owners pick banks for TDC sale -sources

(Reuters) – Denmark’s Danske Bank and Sweden’s SEB have joined a team of banks to launch a share offering in Danish telecom TDC for its private equity owners, sources told Reuters.

The private equity firms, which hold nearly 88 percent of TDC’s stock, have appointed a consortium of a total of nine banks to sell shares in TDC despite a recent string of cancelled European public share offerings, sources close to the deal said.

Blackstone, Permira, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Providence and Apax Partners hold 87.9 percent of TDC via Nordic Telephone Company Holding (NTCH), following a record 100 billion Danish crown ($18.1 billion) buyout in 2005.

Copenhagen investment bankers said the owners were pushing ahead with IPO plans and preparing a prospectus.

Sources said the group included six international banks.

In January, Reuters said the TDC owners shortlisted Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Goldman Sachs [ID:nLDE60E0A5].

A spokesman for the owners, Permira Managing Partner Kurt Bjorklund, declined to comment.

Nordea, which last month was also said to be talking to the private equity firms, said it would not comment on specific cases or client relationships.

A London-based source familiar with the deal said NTCH would offer to sell only part of its TDC holdings, selling shares worth $4-5 billion.

The private equity firms would “follow the logic of the market” and comfort investors by only selling part of the company in a first sale, Danish pension fund ATP said.

“It would make perfect sense to slice their exit in two. We just hope they’ll offload as large a part at first as possible, ATP’s fund director Bjarne Graven Larsen told Reuters.

ATP, the largest minority shareholder, with a 5.5 percent stake in TDC, expects NTCH to stay in control of the company despite the planned offering, to ready it for a final sale.

“As we know private equities, they’ll want to stay in control as long as they own stock in the company,” Larsen said.

Listings of Belgium chemical firm Taminco, UK bank Walton & Co. and Germany’s Hochtief Concessions have all fallen apart recently, and NTCH owner Blackstone pulled the IPO of service travel group Travelport two weeks ago.

TDC’s illiquid stock, with so little in free float, closed at 247 crowns on Thursday, which would value the whole company at about $9 billion. ($1=5.524 Danish Crown) (Additional reporting in London by Daisy Ku, editing by Will Waterman)