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Telus Remains Interested in BCE Buyout


06/07/2007

Western Canada’s leading telephone carrier, Telus Corp., is still interested in buying Bell Canada Enterprises Inc., and will likely attempt to trump a competing bid by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, according to Scotiabank analyst, John Henderson.

“We understand Telus remains very interested in this once-in-a-lifetime merger opportunity,” Henderson wrote in a recent report. “Now that private equity has put its best foot forward, Telus is in a strong position to respond with a superior bid of its own, which is unlikely to be challenged by private equity due to Telus’s synergy advantage.”

The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, together with other private equity groups, has agreed to purchase BCE at a rate of $42.75/share. Henderson, however, believes that a higher price is possible, and predicts that Telus will initiate a hostile takeover of the company, at an estimated per-share rate of $47.00.

In the event of a Telus buyout, BCE shareholders would receive shares in the Western telecom, rather than capital gains-subject cash, posing a built-in advantage for existing investors, who will ultimately vote on the deal.



 

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