Regulatory Deadline Extended for BCE Deal

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has agreed to extend a deadline for the filing of documents relating to the pending acquisition of BCE by a pension plan and private equity companies to May 12.

The Canadian telecom giant, which operates the Bell ExpressVu DBS service north of the border, is being taken over by an investor group led by Teachers' Private Capital, Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. "We continue to work with BCE to meet all the requirements for closing by the end of the second quarter," said Jim Leech, president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

The documents are required by the CRTC in connection with its March 27 decision approving, subject to certain conditions, the change of effective control of BCE and its licensees. BCE said it expects the transaction to close before the end of the second quarter.