BCE (BCE) Gets Bought

Canadian phone giant BCE (BCE) is being taken private by an investor group led by Teachers Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners Inc. and Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC . The price is $48.5 million.

The deal has virtually no premium. Shares currently trade at $38, up about 40%. this year. The purchasers want shareholders to believe that the run-up to the current share price was none of their doing, so why should they pay extra. Major shareholders, which include Franklin Resources and Toronto Dominion Bank will probably not see it that way.

And, why should they? It is not their fault that the shares jumped up either.

There will be a fight over the price of this deal.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at