Third consortium eyes BCE?

18 May 2007

Cerberus Capital Management, fresh from the purchase of Chrysler last week, is now preparing to make a bid for a stake in Canada’s largest telecoms group BCE, according to Toronto-based paper Global & Mail. UBS and Genuity Capital Markets are named as its advisers. The report points out that the New York-based firm must first find Canadian partners in a bid to get around Canadian foreign ownership laws. Two rival consortiums are already squaring up for a bidding war over BCE: one headed by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (including Providence Equity Partners) and another represented by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (including equity house Kohlberg Kravis Roberts). The latter consortium was reportedly assembled with assistance from BCE chief executive officer Michael Sabia, making it the favourite in some analysts’ eyes, although on the other hand the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is currently BCE’s largest single shareholder, with a 5.3% stake.

Canada, BCE (old)