* DNA was in talks with private equity firms
* Also giving up on IPO plans
* Owners may reconsider when market improves - chairman
(Recasts, adds chairman comments and background on market)
HELSINKI, July 16 The owners of Finnish telecoms
operator DNA dropped plans to sell the company, after
failing to get a satisfactory bid from private equity investors.
They also decided against a stock market listing, Chairman
Jarmo Leino told Reuters on Tuesday.
DNA's owners, former local phone carriers in Finland, had
been looking to sell their stakes in the business which is
competing for customers in a price war with rivals TeliaSonera
Finnish operators, like European peers, have been squeezed
by rising costs, falling revenue from voice calls and a failure
to turn surging data traffic into profit growth.
Banking sources said earlier this month that Apax,
Bain Capital, EQT and Providence had all submitted
final-round bids for DNA, which was expected to fetch around 1.3
billion euros ($1.70 billion) in a sale process run by UBS
DNA said last week that it might seek an initial public
Leino declined to comment on Tuesday on how much the private
equity firms had offered to pay. He said the owners agreed the
time was not right for a deal or an IPO.
"If the market situation changes we will probably reconsider
the stance," he said.
DNA's largest shareholder is Finda Group, which owns close
to 33 percent.
($1 = 0.7664 euros)
(Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by Erica Billingham)