Equity firms in talks to buy TDC for $12B

Europe's private equity funds are at it again, but this time they're gunning for one of the last remaining targets in the telecom industry. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, a group of five private-equity funds are in talks with Danish telecom TDC to acquire the operator for roughly $12 billion. Of course, the deal could fall apart, but the word is the group has been courting TDC for the past 10 months and insiders expect a deal in the next few days. TDC's reported suitors are Apax Partners and Permira Advisors of the UK, Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts of New York, and Providence Equity Partners of Rhode Island. TDC and the funds would not comment on the rumored deal.

A different group of private equity funds planned on teaming up with Swisscom for a takeover of TDC, but the Swiss government owns 66 percent of the company and decreed it would not support any overseas deals until it privatizes its stake in coming years. Insiders say TDC hopes to generate a higher bid from the ex-Swisscom group after it receives one from the Apax-led group. Europe's private equity firms have been largely unsuccessful in recent years at landing large acquisitions like TDC, usually losing out to other telecom companies.

For more on the equity funds bid for TDC:
- read this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)