Court denies injunction to stop BCE deal

Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:23pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian court has struck down a move by a group of BCE Inc shareholders to get an injunction to stop the company's C$34.8 billion ($29.2 billion) buyout by a group of private-equity investors, the company said on Monday.

The shareholders wanted to stop the deal until their claims seeking the payment of BCE's second- and third-quarter common dividends are resolved. BCE had halted the payouts as part of its efforts to close the buyout.

BCE said in a statement that the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench had rejected the request for an injunction, which was made in connection with a lawsuit filed on October 27.

Aside from claiming the dividends should be paid, the plaintiffs are also suing for damages.

BCE is being taken private by a group of investors led by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan. The Montreal-based company said the claims for dividend payment and damages "are completely without merit" and that it plans to defend them vigorously.

It added the buyout is still on track to close on December 11.

BCE shares were up 30 Canadian cents at C$37.58 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.

($1=$1.19 Canadian)

(Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Peter Galloway)

 
<p>The offices of BCE Inc. are seen in Montreal, June 20, 2008. REUTERS/Shaun Best</p>