Three of Denmark’s largest pension funds have succeeded in their bid to buy TDC, the country’s former national telecommunications operator, after receiving majority shareholder approval.

However, the trio of ATP, PFA and PKA – in a consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) – fell just short of the threshold required to delist the company from the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

Shareholders representing about 87.4% of TDC’s share capital and voting rights accepted the consortium’s bid, according to announcements made late last week. A 90% acceptance level would have allowed DK Telekommunikation – the consortium – to force a delisting.

The pension funds said they may yet be able to increase their ownership and cross this key threshold.

In a joint statement, the consortium members said: “Following the expiry of the offer period, the offeror [DK Telekommunikation] has learned that a number of investors, including some index trackers, continue to be interested in selling their shares to the offeror on the same terms and conditions as set out in the offer document.”

If the 90% threshold is reached, DK Telekommunikation “intends… to initiate a compulsory acquisition of shares held by the remaining minority shareholders and to apply for a delisting of TDC’s shares”, the group said.

Excluding treasury shares held by TDC, DK Telekommunikation holds around 88.5% of the company.

Allan Polack, chief executive of PFA, said on behalf of the consortium: “With the majority of shareholders approving our offer, we are pleased to have reached this important milestone as TDC now transitions into new long-term ownership.”

As a consortium of highly-experienced investors, he said, the group’s focus was turning to realising its vision and development plans for the growth of Denmark’s digital infrastructure, in which TDC would play a leading role.

“We look forward to working in close collaboration with all of TDC’s stakeholders as we embark on this journey under the leadership of the company’s management team and the more than 8,000 dedicated employees in Denmark and Norway,” Polack added.

The consortium’s offer won backing from the TDC management board in mid-February, just days after the board had rejected an offer from the group.