Domestic private equity firm strengthens bid for BCE

13 Jun 2007

Canadian private equity house Onex has joined one of three consortiums aiming to launch a leveraged buyout of the country’s largest telecoms group BCE, owner of Bell Canada and Bell Aliant. The bidding group already includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP), the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and US buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ‘Onex is Canada’s oldest and largest private equity firm and we are very pleased that they have joined our consortium,’ CPP president David Denison said in a statement, adding that the group would still welcome additional domestic pension funds. Onex managing director Andrew Sheiner said that his company had ‘very strong relationships with every member of this consortium’ and had partnered CPP and the Caisse on previous investments. BCE, with a market value of around CAD32 billion (USD30 billion), is in buyout talks with two other investor groups: one includes its largest single shareholder, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP), its US backer Providence Equity Partners and debt backing from Citigroup, Toronto Dominion Bank and Deutsche Bank; the other consists of the Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan, US-based Cerberus Capital Management, Hong Kong telecoms billionaire Richard Li and CanWest Global Communications (parent of the National Post).

Canada, BCE (old)