Ontario Teachers' sweet deal for Ma Bell, announced a week ago, contained a lot of bad news but one bright spot for Telus. The bad part, obviously, is the price, $42.75 a share, which is higher than most expected and comes with a predictably absurd $800-million break fee, which adds another $1 a share. It will be tough to beat.
On the plus side, though, is the waiting period. It's surprisingly long. BCE's shareholder meeting will likely be in late October, judging by regulatory documents filed this week, and the deal might not close until the snow begins to melt. In other words, Mr. Entwistle has the one commodity - time - that he complained so bitterly he lacked when BCE decided to wrap up the auction by the end of June.
In the end, DeCloet puts the odds of Telus making a run at BCE at 1 in 4.