The proposed C$51.7 billion (US$50.8 billion) buyout of BCE Inc. by a group of investors that includes the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan won approval Thursday from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, according to an agency news release.
Approval is conditional and assumes control of the countrys largest communications company will remain Canadian. Consistent with previous decision, we have imposed conditions to address our concerns relating to corporate governance (to) ensure that control of BCE remains in Canadian hands once the transaction is completed, Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman of the CRTC, said in the release.
In taking the company private, the C$106 billion (US$ 104.3 billion) teachers plan would purchase about 50% of non-voting shares, worth up to C$4 billion, according to the funds website. Providence Equity Partners would buy 20% each voting and non-voting shares, while Madison Dearborn Capital Partners and Merrill Lynch Global Partners Inc. would buy less than 10% of each voting and non-voting shares.
Investors and BCE agreed on the deal June 30, 2007, which includes debt and other interests. Further regulatory approval is pending.