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Client Work

Quebec Court of Appeal hands major victory to Bell Canada debenture holders contesting fairness of BCE buyout

Fasken
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Confidential Client

On May 21, 2008, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled that a planned $41 billion buyout of BCE Inc., the largest leveraged buyout in history, could not proceed. The buyout was to have been effected by way of a plan of arrangement. The court reversed the trial decision and effectively held that the terms of the buyout plan were not fair to bondholders of BCE's largest subsidiary, Bell Canada. The court's ruling is seen as a major victory for the debentureholders and is precedent setting. Fasken Martineau has been co-counsel to the ad hoc committee of holders of debentures issued under Bell Canada's 1976 and 1996 trust indentures, with a team led by Jon Levin, and including, among others, Murray Braithwaite, Sean Stevens and Stephen Whitehead.

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