NTC Investors Said to Sell About $517 Million in TDC Sale

TDC A/S (TDC)’s private-equity owners raised about 2.97 billion Danish kroner ($517 million) by selling 10 percent of the phone operator’s stock in their latest disposal.

The NTC investors sold 80 million shares at 37.10 kroner apiece in a sale managed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), a person with knowledge of the sale said. The stock dropped as much as 4.9 percent. NTC and related investors will keep about 33 percent of TDC shares and voting rights, TDC said in a statement today.

TDC’s owners have been paring their stakes by selling shares while paying a high dividend. In December 2010, they cut their stake to less than 60 percent from about 88 percent by selling shares to the public. In February, the owners sold about about 15 percent of the company, leaving then bookrunner Morgan Stanley with almost half the stock.

Given the difficult sale in February, “we believe that the new bookrunner has fought harder this time around for a larger discount,” David Aubert, an analyst at DNB Markets in Oslo wrote in a report today. “We do not believe this 10 percent placing is enough to significantly reduce the market overhang discount,” he wrote, referring to how investors price a stock lower when they anticipate further sales.

Largest Buyout

Apax Partners LLP, Blackstone Group LP (BX), KKR & Co. (KKR), Permira Advisers LLP and Providence Equity Partners Inc. created holding company NTC, which agreed to acquire TDC in 2005 for $15.3 billion, Europe’s largest leveraged buyout at the time.

Proceeds from today’s transaction will go to the sellers, which pledged not to dispose of any further shares for 90 days after the sale closes, according to a statement yesterday.

TDC shares dropped as much as 4.9 percent to 37.06 kroner and closed at 37.33 kroner in Copenhagen today, taking the loss this year to 19 percent. The share sale today was at a 4.7 percent discount to yesterday’s price.

TDC pays the fifth-highest dividend relative to share prices among 23 companies in the Bloomberg Europe Telecommunication Services Index (BETELES), according to Bloomberg data. The company has a dividend yield of almost 12 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Additional equity sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have raised $51.1 billion this year, compared with $48.3 billion in the same period last year, as more stakeholders in the region liquidated large stakes, the data show.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alexis Xydias in London at axydias@bloomberg.net; Ruth David in London at rdavid9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net

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