The private equity owners of Danish telecoms group TDC are unlikely to go ahead with a share offering before the fourth quarter of the year, after authorities halted the merger of TDC’s Swiss mobile operator Sunrise with France Telecom’s (FT’s) local unit Orange, Reuters reports citing a minority institutional shareholder. ‘In my view it is unrealistic to expect TDC to list before the fourth quarter at the earliest,’ said Bjarne Graven Larsen, head of funds at Danish pension fund ATP, which owns a 5.5% stake in TDC. The telco’s main owners, Nordic Telephone Company (NTC) – a private equity consortium including Apax Partners, Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Permira and Providence Equity Partners – had been expected to launch an initial public offering (IPO) this year, but the blocking of the Swiss merger in April 2010 and recent market turbulence have intervened. ‘They need at least two quarters to show that progress in the Swiss operations actually continues,’ Larsen added. Last week, TDC and FT announced they had abandoned plans to merge their respective units in Switzerland. Following the announcement, a spokesman for NTC said the consortium was continuing to work on the strategic review and would update the market as appropriate.