Countries Vie For Biggest Buy-Out Title

Over the last two days, BCE (BCE) the largest phone company in Canada, was purchased by the investment arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and several private equity firms. The price was over $32 billion making it the largest buy-out in Canada’s history.

A day later, Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers offered $19 billion for the country’s second largest retailer, Coles. It would be the largest buy-out in Australia’s history.

So, over $50 billion went for buyouts in a little over 24 hours. And, that was over a weekend.

Shares in private buy-out firms Blackstone (BX) have been falling since its IPO. But, the sell-off might be premature.

There have been recent rumors of a sale of Freeport-McMoran (FCX). The company has a market cap of over $31 billion. In the car industry, Delphi is likely to be taken private as it comes out of Chapter 11. Ford (F) has Jaguar and Land Rover on the block.

Macy’s (M) may be in play. The company has a market cap near $20 billion. Expedia (EXPE) is rumored to be a target. The price tag there would be about $10 billion.

Credit may be tightening, but the appetite for big risk does not seem to be.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.