Canadian pension fund plans more buyouts

MONTREAL: Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, the retirement fund manager leading the takeover of BCE Inc, is preparing to make more acquisitions even as investors begin to balk at funding leveraged buyouts. 

“There are signs out there that would suggest we are nearing the top of the market in private equity,'' Ontario Teachers senior vice-president Jim Leech said in a telephone interview. “Clearly, big movements in interest rates could make everything come crashing down, but I don't see that happening this year.'' 

The pension fund, which manages C$106bil (US$100bil) for teachers in Canada's most populous province, agreed on June 30 to buy Montreal-based BCE, the country's biggest phone company, for C$34.2bil with investors including Providence Equity Partners Inc. 

Ontario Teachers' would invest C$4bil in BCE equity, increasing the Toronto-based fund's holdings of private equity and infrastructure assets such as pipelines to C$20bil, Leech said. More deals would increase those assets to about C$25bil by the end of the year, he said. – Bloomberg  

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