TDC in $3.7bn share buyback

 
City A.M. Reporter
THE private equity owners of Denmark’s TDC are banking up to $3.7bn (£2.3bn) through a share buyback and one of Europe’s biggest public offerings of 2010, as they start to cash in on their investment.

Over a third of the former telecoms monopoly is being sold initially. TDC’s chief executive Henrik Poulsen said. Apax Partners, Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Permira Advisers and Providence Equity Partners plan to sell further shares after an 180-day lock-up.

“There is no doubt that this share sale is the first step to a full exit,” Poulsen said.

The private equity houses yesterday priced the offering of 210m shares at 51 crowns per share, the middle of an earlier narrowed range of 50-52 crowns per share.

The share sale is the latest example of private equity firms making the most of a relative resurgence in demand for equity offerings in Europe to cash in on investments they made several years ago, and follows a successful debut offering by Danish jeweller Pandora in October.

While not a flotation, the offering effectively relaunches TDC on the Copenhagen bourse as its shares have been largely illiquid since the consortium bought an almost 90 per cent stake in 2005, in what was then the largest European leveraged buyout in history. Poulsen said TDC, which operates in a highly-competitive domestic market, planned to beef up its businesses in Sweden, Norway and Finland to “prove its worth”.