Finland's DNA, in private equity talks, says IPO possible

HELSINKI, July 11 Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:09am EDT

HELSINKI, July 11 (Reuters) - Finnish phone operator DNA said listing its shares was still a possibility, a sign that talks with private equity investors may not necessarily lead to a sale.

Banking sources said earlier this week that Apax, Bain Capital, EQT and Providence had all submitted final-round bids for the company, which could fetch around 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in a sale process run by UBS .

DNA said on Thursday it would make a decision during the summer and that its biggest owners were preparing for a potential sale or reduction of their stakes.

"During the summer it will be clear whether the owners of DNA will continue talks with private equity firms, or if the company will proceed with listing in the autumn or if the current ownership will prevail," it said.

DNA is controlled by companies that were previously local phone carriers in Finland, and owners have been looking to sell their stakes amid fierce price competition. The largest shareholder is Finda Group, which owns close to 33 percent.