Two rival consortiums squaring up for BCE fight

20 Apr 2007

A consortium of US buyout firm Providence Equity Partners, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) and several other Canadian institutions has taken a step closer to launching a competing bid for a controlling stake in Canada’s largest telecoms group, BCE, after arranging financing with lenders led by Citigroup. On Tuesday, BCE, the parent of Bell Canada, confirmed it was in negotiations with a rival buyout group including US-based private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and three domestic pension funds – Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board. Because Canadian law limits foreign ownership of telecoms companies to 46.67% of voting shares, the US equity firms must act as minority partners in any bidding consortium.

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