June 17, 2008 / 1:18 PM / in 9 years

Canada high court begins hearing on BCE buyout

OTTAWA (Reuters) - BCE Inc and disgruntled bondholders began oral hearings before the Supreme Court of Canada on Tuesday on whether the world’s largest leveraged buyout, the privatization of Canada’s top phone company, should be allowed to proceed.

The hearings on the C$34.8 billion ($34.1 billion) buyout were scheduled to last 2 1/2 hours plus breaks, and it was possible the high court could rule from the bench shortly thereafter.

BCE is appealing the decision of a lower court, which had refused to give needed approval to the buyout on the grounds that the company had not adequately taken account the interests of bondholders in agreeing to take on more debt.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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