So while the news that BCE has had talks with buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was a surprise -- and a welcome one at that -- we shouldn't say we're shocked.
From the linked Bloomberg report:
Kohlberg executives have met with BCE Chief Executive Officer Michael Sabia within the past two weeks, to discuss terms of a friendly takeover bid, the Globe and Mail said, citing people it didn't name. The New York-based buyout firm has also approached Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, BCE's biggest shareholder, to be a partner in the deal, the newspaper said. Kohlberg and Teachers teamed up on bids for Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. and Yellow Pages Group LP.
BCE issued a statement that talks are not ongoing with KKR and has no plans to pursue them. Some analysts speculate that BCE management hasn't been thinking in terms of selling the company -- believing their strategy of selling off non-core assets, focusing on strategic businesses and boosting shareholder payouts would eventually lift the stock price.
I agree and that's why I'm a shareholder.
Moreover, KKR's interest is yet more evidence that loads of money is sloshing around out there looking for deals. And that BCE -- one of those boring, old, legacy phone companies -- is a valuable asset after all.