Funds considering BCE buyout

12 Apr 2007

The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) has been talking to US equity group Providence Equity Partners and several Canadian institutions about making an offer for a controlling stake in BCE Inc, parent of Canada’s largest telco Bell Canada, reports The Financial Times. Sources familiar with the matter said the talks are still at an early stage and the OTPP, which is BCE’s largest shareholder with a 5.3% stake, had not yet formally approached the company. BCE has a market value of around CAD28 billion (USD24.3 billion). BCE has denied reports that it was in talks to go private, and any change of control would require government approval, ruling out the possibility of a hostile bid. Furthermore, Canadian law limits foreign ownership of a telecoms company to 46.7%. The OTPP said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it ‘is closely monitoring developments and is exploring its options.’

Canada, BCE (old), Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE)