Potential BCE bidder drops out

11 May 2007

One of the four members of a consortium considering a bid for Canada’s largest telecoms group BCE has dropped out. The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSPIB) told consortium partners Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec and US buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts that it could no longer participate in the process. A source close to the consortium said PSPIB, the smallest member of the group, was concerned about the strain of participating in such a big deal, particularly as it closes a separate transaction with BCE – its purchase of satellite operator Telesat, in partnership with Loral Space & Communications, for CAD3.25 billion. The anonymous source said the loss of PSPIB, which was expected to contribute 10% to 15% of the CAD6 billion to CAD8 billion equity portion of a leveraged buyout bid, would not prevent the other consortium members from proceeding. BCE has a market value of approximately CAD30 billion (USD27 billion).

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