BCE Deal Delay Hurts

| About: BCE Inc. (BCE)

Shares of BCE Inc (NYSE:BCE)[TSE:BCE] fell sharply on Wednesday morning after the company said it does not expect its privatization deal to close by December 11.

KPMG told the company that based on current market conditions and the amount of debt involved in the leveraged buyout financing, it will not be able to deliver a solvency opinion – a condition to the closing of the transaction – on time.

The stock was down more than 35% in early trading, or more than C$14, to around C$24.25.

BCE shares jumped nearly 10% on Monday after the U.S. government agreed to help bail out Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C). It is the biggest lender behind the C$52 billion deal, responsible for US$13 billion of the US$35 billion in loans. Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) are the others.

“We are disappointed with KPMG’s preliminary view of post-transaction solvency, which is based on numerous assumptions and methodologies that we are currently reviewing,” Siim Vanaselja, BCE’s Chief Financial Officer said in a statement. “The company disagrees that the addition of the LBO debt would result in BCE not meeting the technical solvency definition.”