Telus to "Trump" Ontario Teachers' Bid for BCE?

 |  Includes: BCE, TU
by: John Bethel

Talk that Telus (NYSE:TU) will re-emerge as a bidder for BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) is being heard more and more.

And that suggests the talk is more than just, well, talk.

Scotiabank analyst John Henderson said he believes Telus will "trump" the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan's bid for BCE, according to a Canadian Press report:

"We understand Telus remains very interested in this once-in-a-lifetime merger opportunity," Henderson wrote in a report to clients. "Now that private equity has put its best foot forward, Telus is in a strong position to respond with a superior bid of its own, which is unlikely to be challenged by private equity due to Telus's synergy advantage."

Henderson thinks Telus will offer C$47 for BCE, using a 40/60 cash-equity split. The Ontario Teachers' group reached a deal to pay C$42.75 in cash.

As you know, I prefer all-cash takeovers, but if the price is higher, it's higher. Plus, Henderson says that a significant number of BCE shareholders -- who I assume reside in Canada -- would prefer shares in a tax-free roll over.