* Sale would be one of year's largest buyouts
* Could aid KKR, other owners in relisting of seller TDC
* Previous sale to France Tel was blocked by regulators
(Adds Swisscom closing share price)
By Quentin Webb and Victoria Howley
LONDON, Sept 16 TDC A/S (TDC.CO), the private
equity-backed Danish telephone company, is close to a deal to
sell Swiss unit Sunrise to buyout firm CVC Capital Partners
[CVC.UL], six people familiar with the matter said on
The deal will place an enterprise value on Sunrise of about
3.3 billion Swiss francs ($3.3 billion), four of the people
said, making it one of the year's largest leveraged buyouts. A
deal is likely to be announced on Friday, some of the people
A sale would give CVC, a British private equity firm,
control of Switzerland's second-biggest telecommunications
company and clear the way for TDC's owners to accelerate
long-held plans to refloat the company.
TDC dropped a plan to sell Sunrise to France Telecom's
FTE.PA Orange earlier this year, after competition regulators
in Switzerland blocked the merger of the two units. That set
back plans by TDC's owners to relist more of the company, which
they took control of in 2006.
TDC's main owners, with nearly 88 percent of the stock, are
a group of five private equity firms: Apax Partners, Blackstone
Group (BX.N), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR.N), Permira Advisers
[PERM.UL] and Providence Equity Partners.
The deal is about 70 percent funded by debt, and 30 percent
by equity, one of the people said -- making it more leveraged
than many buyouts since the credit crisis.
The debt, put together by BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and
UBS, is split between longer-term loans and bridge loans that
will be refinanced with high-yield bonds, two of the people
CVC, TDC and the buyout consortium declined to comment
about the deal, which was first reported by Bloomberg.
"We have no information on a takeover," said a Sunrise
spokeswoman. "We do not comment on rumours."
STRING OF DEALS
With 2.85 million customers, the company trails Swisscom AG
SCMN.VX, which boasts 5.7 million mobile customers and 1.8
million broadband connections, but is far ahead of former
suitor Orange Switzerland, which has 1.56 million customers.
Swisscom shares edged 0.2 percent lower to close at 393.60
In June it named a new chief executive, Oliver Steil, who
was formerly CEO of German mobile phone company debitel.
Sunrise made first-quarter earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 131 million Swiss
francs, up 13.9 percent from the same period a year earlier, on
revenue of 495 million Swiss francs.
If the deal goes through, it would be this year's biggest
takeover of a European telephone company, Thomson Reuters data
shows. Global mergers and acquisitions in telecoms total more
than $122 billion this year, but the biggest deals have
targeted South America, the United States, Africa and
This is the third big deal for CVC in as many months, after
it struck two deals to take significant minority stakes in
In June it took a 630 million pound ($983 million) stake in
Blackstone's theme-park group Merlin Entertainments, and in
August it acquired a 1.7 billion euro ($2.2 billion) stake in
Spanish toll-road operator Abertis (ABE.MC) from building
company ACS (ACS.MC).
(Reporting by Quentin Webb, Victoria Howley and Tessa Walsh in
London, with Peter Levring in Copenhagen; Editing by David
Holmes and Steve Orlofsky)
($1=1.001 Swiss franc)