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Telus Loses Interest in Bell Canada

Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T) is officially out of the race to buy its fellow Canadian carrier BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE).

As part of his company's latest earnings announcement, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle stated: "There has been much continued speculation and uncertainty in the market about the potential for Telus to pursue an offer to acquire BCE." (He's not wrong there -- see Telus Still a Factor in Bell Canada Buyout.)

However, "After a thorough assessment of the opportunity and based on multiple factors, we are confirming today that Telus does not intend to submit a competing offer to acquire BCE. We believe that Telus on a stand-alone basis with its strong growth oriented asset mix and investment grade financial strength will continue to create significant future value for investors."

Telus held talks in June about a potential merger with Bell Canada, but dropped out of the process as private equity companies moved in. Now Bell Canada is all set to be acquired by an investor group led by Teachers' Private Capital, Providence Equity Partners , and Madison Dearborn Partners in a deal valued at US$48.8 billion. (See Telus, Bell Canada in Takeover Talks and Bell Canada Goes Private.)

Confirmation that Telus no longer has eyes for Bell Canada sent the latter's share price down by $0.81, more than 2 percent, to $37.62 in pre-market trading Friday. Telus saw its share price fall by $1.71, more than 3 percent, to $54.00 in pre-market trading Friday, having announced second-quarter earnings about which CEO Entwistle pronounced himself "less than satisfied." (See Telus Reports Q2.)

Bell Canada, which reported its second-quarter earnings earlier this week, announced Thursday it had filed with all the relevant regulatory and financial bodies in Canada and the U.S. for regulatory approval of its planned acquisition. (See Bell Canada Ups Q2 Earnings.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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