Are the lawyers turning BCE documents?
BCE Takeover Part 30
With but eight weeks to go before the Ontario Teachers-led going private of BCE (BCE:TSX) is to close, the absence of a scintilla of rumour or other bit of information regarding the deal is ominous.
Paper should be turning right now at the various law firms involved in the deal. And they are numerous: OTPPB will have legal counsel (if not several, given the variety of boutique elements to this transaction: CRTC, Competition Bureau, Industry Canada, labour, etc.), BCE will have counsel. Providence and Madison Dearborn will likely need separate representation. Then there are the lead banks (TD Bank, CitiGroup, RBOS, et al).
Turn your mind back to when this deal got rolling (see prior post “BCE takeover – only a matter of time” March 29-07). There was a new, and largely accurate, rumour each and every day. Sometimes more than one, as various sides battled it out for position. Is it that the media are no longer of use, so the formerly active confidential sources have dried up? Perhaps that’s the case.
There’s not as much upside right now from talking to the media about the state of the deal; last Spring, the public affairs dynamic was quite different. Huge strategic communciations firms were engaged, although most still are working on the file to at least some extent. Sources like to keep their relations with journalists alive as well, so the notion that they’ve gone completely underground is tough to fathom.
Isn’t it more likely that there’s nothing to talk about right now? Which seems odd, with a $50 billion deal that is to close in about 60 days (see prior post “Are sad days ahead for BCE shareholders?” February 14-08). Which draft of the credit agreement are we on? What about the employment contracts for George Cope and his team? The shareholders agreement isn’t an easy document to pull together, either.
The paper should be flying around right now, but is it?
(disclosure – I own BCE)