BCE announces Court schedule for proceedings related to proposed privatization
BCE today announced the schedule for
legal proceedings related to the privatization of BCE by a consortium led by
Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers’
Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners. As a
result, the purpose of the hearing before the Superior Court of Québec on
October 10, 2007 will be to address certain administrative matters.
"This schedule will allow for the expeditious resolution of these
proceedings" said Michel Lalande, Senior Vice President and General Counsel
of BCE. "The company continues to work towards and expects the transaction to
close in the first quarter of 2008, subject to customary conditions, including
regulatory approvals" The plan of arrangement was overwhelmingly approved by
the shareholders of BCE on September 21, 2007.
The only parties contesting the granting of a Final Order approving the
plan of arrangement are certain holders of debentures issued by Bell Canada
(acting, or purporting to act, directly or through Trustees under Trust
As previously indicated, BCE is of the view that the bases on which these
holders of debentures intend to contest the proposed transactions (including
the plan of arrangement) are without merit and will take all necessary steps
to vigorously defend its position to the fullest extent possible. BCE will
also assert that the holders of debentures of Bell Canada and the Trustees do
not have standing to contest the granting of the Final Order.
The schedule approved by the Court provides that:
- All proceedings by the holders of debentures or the Trustees relating
to the proposed transactions (including the plan of arrangement) must
be filed no later than October 19, 2007;
- All proceedings relating to the proposed transactions (including the
plan of arrangement) will be heard by the Superior Court of Québec,
sitting in the district of Montréal, during the week of December 3,
2007 at which time all evidence will be presented to the Court, with
final legal arguments to be heard during the week of January 8, 2008.
The Court has indicated to the parties that it expects to be able to
render a decision regarding all proceedings before the end of January 2008.
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