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BCE Says Not In Talks With Private Equity Investor

Telecommunications conglomerate BCE said on Thursday it is not in talks with any private-equity investor regarding taking the big telecommunications company private or any other similar transaction.

BCE, Canada's largest telecom and owner of Bell Canada, said it issued the statement at the request of TSX market regulations services.

BCE's comment followed a report in the Globe and Mail newspaper on Thursday that said the company had had discussions with New York buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts regarding a possible transaction to take BCE private.

The Globe and Mail report, quoting unnamed sources, said Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has met twice with BCE officials, including Chief Executive Michael Sabia. At the most recent meeting, held in the past two weeks, the buyout idea was discussed, it said.

According to the report, the deal could have been worth more than 24 billion Canadian dollars ($20.7 billion), which would have made it the pricest takeover in Canadian history.