BCE deal seen closing in Q3

By Craig Sebastiano | June 23, 2008 | Last updated on June 23, 2008
2 min read

Clients still holding BCE stock will be happy with Friday’s news, after the Supreme Court of Canada sided with shareholders in the proposed takeover of the telephone operator. The consortium led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan now expects to complete the privatization of BCE Inc. sometime in the third quarter of this year.

It had expected to finish the deal before the end of June, but there was a delay because of legal challenges by bondholders who claimed the deal was unfair to them.

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned a Quebec Court of Appeal ruling, which ruled in favour of the bondholders.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s final approval of the acquisition was given late Friday. Industry Canada is expected to approve the deal sometime this week.

“With this decision by the Supreme Court and the confirmation of regulatory approvals, we are now in a good position to complete the transaction,” says Gordon Currie, BCE’s chairman. “We expect all parties to the transaction will honour their commitments.”

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  • Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Toronto-Dominion Bank — the four banks financing the debt portion of the acquisition — released a statement Monday morning expressing their own optimism.

    “The banks expect that the transaction will close in accordance with the definitive agreement between BCE and the sponsors,” the statement read. “We continue to negotiate the financing documents in good faith with the sponsors and stand behind our original commitment to the transaction.”

    Filed by Craig Sebastiano, Benefits Canada


    Craig Sebastiano