MONTREAL, March 29 (UPI) -- BCE Inc. of Montreal, Canada's largest telephone company, said Thursday that it was not seeking to be taken private.
"There are no ongoing discussions being held with any private-equity investor with respect to any privatization of the company or any similar transaction," BCE said in a statement, responding to a report in The Globe and Mail Thursday that the Bell Canada parent met with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
The company "has no current intention to pursue such discussions," the statement said.
KKR executives met at least twice with BCE officials, including Chief Executive Officer Michael Sabia, about a possible offer, the newspaper said.
It said KKR might pursue an offer with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, BCE's biggest shareholder and a partner on earlier deals, including 2002's $3 billion buyout of BCE's Yellow Pages operation.
The newspaper said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was BCE's adviser on a possible deal.
KKR and Goldman Sachs spokesmen declined to comment on any deal speculation.
BCE shares were up $1.68, or 6.46 percent, to $27.69 in mid-afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange after trading as high as $29.15 before BCE's denial.