A Canadian appellate court has blocked the planned $35-billion sale of Bell Canada tothe Ontario Teachers Pension fund.
The Associated Press said the Quebec Court of Appeal accepted the arguments by the debt holders of BCE Inc. (Bell of Canada) that the proposed sale was unfair to the bondholders.
According to the news account, the decision threatens the largest leveraged buyout in history. BCE has asked the Supreme Court of Canada to review the lower court’s decision.
Shareholders overwhelmingly approved the buyout group’s offer of US $43.12 in September.
Despite the ruling, the pension fund said it remains committed to the deal, according to the news report.
“We’re reviewing the ruling and evaluating our options with respect to the bondholder claims,” Ontario Teachers Pension Fund spokeswoman Deborah Allan said in an e-mail.
The buyout group also includes Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn.
The Toronto-based Ontario Teachers Pension Plan – with assets of 108 billion Canadian dollars in 2007 – invests and administers the retirement funds for Ontario’s 353,000 active, inactive, and retired teachers.