Danish telecoms company TDC urged investors to back a $6.7 billion cash offer from Australia’s Macquarie and three Danish pension funds on Monday.
“After careful review of our options, the board of directors of TDC believes that the consortium’s offer represents both the most compelling value and the highest transaction certainty benefiting the TDC shareholders,” TDC Chairman Pierre Danon said in a statement.
As a consequence, TDC will recommend that its own planned $2.5 billion takeover of Swedish MTG’s broadcasting and entertainment business is abandoned. That deal was announced less than two weeks ago.
The takeover offer of 50.25 crowns per share is subject to the merger between TDC and MTG not being approved by TDC, the consortium said in a separate statement.
TDC last week rejected a takeover approach which valued it at a reported 47-48 crowns per share from the Macquarie-led consortium which also includes Danish pension funds PFA, ATP and PKA.
The new bid remains far from the TDC stock’s all-time high price of 152.8 crowns recorded in March 2000.
Shares in TDC jumped after the latest statement and traded 13.2 percent higher at 49.42 crowns by 1355 GMT.
TELIA NOT IN TALKS
The offer marks the latest attempt at consolidating the fragmented Nordic telecoms market and follows continued speculation that TDC could be a target for both private equity and industry players.
However, the prospect of a bidding war for TDC appeared to recede when Sweden’s Telia said earlier on Monday it was not presently in discussions with its Danish peer.
Telia added it had investigated various alternatives regarding its business in Denmark “which have included also a possible acquisition of TDC”.
Less than two years ago TDC rejected a potential takeover approach from another private equity player, believed to be Apollo Global Management.
In 2005 a consortium of U.S. and British funds, including Apax Partners, Blackstone Group and Permira, took control of the company in a 76 billion crown leveraged buyout – Europe’s biggest at the time.
The consortium’s financial advisers are Barclays and Nordea while LionTree and Morgan Stanley are advisers to TDC.