Court to give reasons for BCE judgment

Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:27pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Supreme Court of Canada will hand down on Friday the reasons for its earlier judgment, now overtaken by events, that the $34.8 billion leveraged buyout of BCE Inc could proceed.

That buyout has since collapsed but at 9:45 a.m. EST on Friday the court will nonetheless release the text of the decision it had rendered on June 20.

It will no longer affect the BCE deal, which collapsed because of a ruling by the telecoms giant's accountants that the post-deal company would fail a solvency test because of its huge debt.

The court had ruled in favor of shareholders against BCE's bondholders, and the ruling may help lay out rules for future takeovers and buyouts.

The case is BCE Inc. et al. v. A Group of 1976 Debentureholders et al, Supreme Court of Canada, 32647.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer)