TDC’s Private Equity Backers To Sell $2.9B In Shares OF Telecom Group – Reuters

TDC’s private equity owners are looking to sell some of their stake in the Danish telecommunications group, Reuters said. Apax Partners, Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Permira Advisers and Providence Equity Partners own nearly 88 percent of TDC. Two sources familiar with the matter said the private equity owners would sell about $2.9 billion worth of TDC stock. The sellers will remain significant shareholders in TDC after the transaction.

(Reuters) – TDC’s (TDC.CO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) private equity owners will sell some of their holding in Denmark’s largest telecoms group in what could be one of Europe’s biggest share sales this year, worth about $2.9 billion.

TDC’s main owner, with nearly 88 percent of the stock, is a consortium of private equity investment firms Apax Partners, Blackstone Group (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Permira Advisers and Providence Equity Partners.

Two sources familiar with the matter said the owners would sell about $2.9 billion worth of TDC stock.

TDC Chief Executive Henrik Poulsen told reporters on a conference call that the amount of shares offered would depend on demand.

A sale of TDC shares would follow Danish jewellery maker Pandora’s (PNDORA.CO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) successful $2 billion initial public offering on the Copenhagen bourse that was oversubscribed last month. [ID:nLDE6970AK]

“The selling shareholders will remain a significant investor in TDC after the offering, and have committed to a lock-up on their remaining holdings for 180 days following the transaction,” TDC A/S said. A banking source said the owners could reduce their stake to below 50 percent if demand was strong enough.

TDC’s illiquid shares jumped as much as 4.5 percent before trimming gains to trade up 2.3 percent at 51.65 crowns at 1115 GMT, giving the company a market capitalisation of about $9.3 billion). The STOXX 600 Europe telecoms index was down 0.5 percent.

After the sale of Swiss unit Sunrise in October, TDC is a focused Nordic telecom group and market leader in Denmark and a challenger to incumbents in the business segment of the other Nordic countries.

It is the third-biggest Nordic telecom operator after Swedish-Finnish TeliaSonera (TLSN.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Norway’s Telenor (TEL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Preliminary marketing of TDC shares, which will be sold to Danish and international institutional investors, would begin immediately and last two weeks, banking sources said.

An indicative price range is expected to be set on Nov. 25.

A share offering by TDC’s owners, who took control of the company in a 2005 buyout, has been widely expected. [ID:nLDE69B19D]

“With the divestment of Sunrise we have come back to being a fully focused Nordic telecom company,” CEO Poulsen said, adding that TDC’s strategy is to continue to build on its current business segments including television operations.

JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and SEB will be joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the offering, and Deutsche Bank and UBS will be joint bookrunners, TDC said.

Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Nomura, HSBC and Danske Markets will be joint lead managers, Danske Markets, SEB will be Nordic retail bookrunners, and BNP Paribas and Carnegie co-lead managers, TDC said.

(Reporting by Copenhagen newsroom and Kylie MacLellan in London; Editing by Erica Billingham)