Bell Canada denies private takeover report

March 29, 2007 at 2:53 PM

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.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Einstein vindicated: Scientists find gravitational waves
Vatican: Bishops not required to report abuse to police
Nicola Griffin to appear in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue at 56
Dementia rates decline in U.S., researchers unsure why
'El Chapo' drug empire's alleged financial operator arrested in Mexico