The story of TDC has been termed by many as a true business adventure that started small with only 22 subscribers. In mid-2011, TDC A/S had 8.99 million customer relations in Denmark and abroad.
The Danes were quick to embrace Alexander Graham Bell's epoch-making invention from 1875 - the telephone. On January 15, 1881, the first telephone exchange opened in Copenhagen. The exchange had 22 subscribers – primarily business customers – and was owned by the American telephone company Bell.
With the formation of Kjøbenhavns Telefon-Aktieselskab (KTAS) in 1882, the company came on Danish hands for the first time. From this time, the Danes desire to talk increased, and in 1900 there were around 25,000 telephone customers nationwide.
The Regional Companies
Around 1950, the telecommunications companies were gathered in KTAS, Jydsk Telefon and Fyns Telefon. The post and telegraph service, Post & Telegrafvæsenet, was responsible for Southern Jutland and the island of Møn and for the telegraph, the trunk exchange and radio-based services.
In 1986, Tele Sønderjylland was founded. The other post and telegraph-related tasks were distributed among the three regional companies, and Telecom was founded in order to deal with international telephony.
On November 14, 1990, Parliament passed the act which today forms the basis of a national telco in Denmark. The company was named Tele Danmark and was founded as a mother company to the old telcos and Telecom. The purpose was to create a strong Danish telco, capable of facing competition in an open international telecom market.
In 1994, Tele Danmark yielded DKK 18.5bn from the world's largest international share issue ever to take place outside a home market. Among others, 40,000 Danish investors bought shares in the company.
The former regional telephone companies merged in 1995 and joined forces in a new organizational setup within Tele Denmark.
In 1996, the telecom sector was fully liberalized in Denmark. Tele Danmark was still the largest Danish telecom, but now operating in a market marked by a still increasing number of competitors.
In October 1997, Tele Danmark entered into a strategic partnership with the American telco Ameritech. The agreement meant that Ameritech now owned some 42 percent of the shares in Tele Danmark.
In January 1998, Tele Danmark took over the rest of the state-owned shares in the Danish telco. Tele Danmark was now a fully privatized company.
When Ameritech linked up with an even larger American company, SBC, Tele Danmark was made a member of an even larger international family.
Tele Danmark changed its name to TDC in 2000. New independent subsidiaries and a new structure were formed to increase customer focus and to make the company more transparent thus ensuring future growth.
In 2004, SBC sold its shares, and TDC no longer had one shareholder with a controlling interest.
In autumn 2005, five private equity funds formed Nordic Telephone Company ApS (NTC) in order to buy TDC. NTC took over 87.9 percent of the shares in TDC.
On December 13, 2010, majority shareholder NTC sold 28.8 percent of its shares in TDC in what was considered to be one of the largest equity transactions in Europe at the time. A total of 210 million shares were traded worldwide through Fondsbørsen in Copenhagen (Nasdaq OMX Nordic).
By early 2013, NTC owned 17.7 percent of the shares in TDC.
Although much has changed since 1881, TDC's focus in Denmark still remains the same. TDC is and wants to remain the leading communications company in Denmark.