Mergers & acquisitions

Bell Canada Heads for Pre-Christmas Sale

The end is in sight. Following a hotly-contested legal process that eventually went to Canada's Supreme Court in June this year, BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE) has agreed final terms to be acquired on or before December 11 in a deal valued at C$51.7 billion (US$50.8 billion).

A group of investors, including Teachers' Private Capital, Providence Equity Partners , Madison Dearborn Partners , and the global private equity arm of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. , is to pay C$42.75 (US$42.06) in cash for each share, and assume C$16.9 billion (US$16.63 billion) in debt. (See BCE Agress M&A Terms.)

That's the deal that was struck in June 2007, when the sale was first announced. (See BCE Agrees to Buyout.)

Since then, though, the deal has been dogged by legal challenges that ended in mid-June, when the Supreme Court reinstated an order approving the sale. (See Bell Canada Shareholders OK Privatization, Oh Canada: BCE Buyout Falls Apart, Bell Canada to Appeal High Court Ruling, and BCE Sale Back On.)

Today's news sent BCE's stock up by C$4.35, about 12.4 percent, to C$39.50.

Now, let that be an end to it!

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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