Dutch telco TDC’s long-delayed IPO is back on the table, after the firm agreed to sell Swiss mobile subsidiary Sunrise to focus on core Nordic markets.
The telco has agreed to sell Sunrise to a consortium of investors led by CVC Capital Partners for 3.3 billion Swiss francs (€2.5 billion), and expects the sale to complete during the fourth quarter – setting it up to complete its plan to float.
“A divestment is a natural next step in our wish to focus TDC as a Nordic communications company,” boss Henrik Poulsen said, adding. “I am glad we have found a strong future owner to ensure that Sunrise will continue the positive development.”
CVC partner Lorne Somerville said it was “delighted to add such a high-quality business,” to its European portfolio, and gave full backing to the carrier’s management team, strategy and investment plans.
Industry watchers told WSJ.com the simpler financial structure that will result from the sale makes a TDC IPO almost inevitable, and that banks are working towards a deal in 4Q.
TDC’s original plans for an IPO were scuppered in April, when regulators blocked a merger of Sunrise with Orange’s Swiss operation. The €1.5 billion that merger would have generated for TDC was considered essential in moving its IPO plan forward.
The deal is also a sign that banks are beginning to lend again, FT.com reported, noting that over two thirds of CVC’s purchase price is funded by investment banks.