Canada allows biggest ever leveraged buy-out

Canada's BCE won the right to go ahead with the largest leveraged buy-out in history, a €22.42 billion (US$35 billion) deal that the telco's bondholders fought, saying it would reduce their holdings to junk.

An Associated Press report said Canada's Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that the sale of BCE, the parent of telecommunications holding company Bell Canada, to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and its minority US partners didn't adequately consider bondholders' interests.

The court's rationale for its unanimous decision is to be released later.

'We're pleased with the Supreme Court's decision and we're continuing to work to complete an acquisition of BCE,' Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan spokeswoman Deborah Allan was quoted as saying.

The last hurdle to the deal also looks to be gone as the banks said they would proceed with the deal. The banks are slated to provide billions in financing to complete what is a (US$51 billion) cash and debt takeover.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Toronto-Dominion Bank, the four banks that have committed to financing the debt portion of deal, issued a statement saying they expect the transaction will close 'in accordance with the Definitive Agreement between BCE and the sponsors. We continue to negotiate the financing documents in good faith with the sponsors and stand behind our original commitment to the transaction.'

BCE hopes to close the sale in its third quarter, which ends September 30.

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