MONTREAL, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - Teachers' Private Capital, the private
investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Providence Equity
Partners Inc., and Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, today announced that George
A. Cope will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BCE and Bell
Canada upon closing of the group's pending acquisition of the Company.
Currently serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of Bell
Canada, Mr. Cope will continue to work closely with Michael J. Sabia, the
current CEO of BCE and Bell Canada, and management will continue to report to
the current board of directors until the transaction closes. Mr. Sabia
announced on September 21, 2007 that he will depart the Company upon
completion of the acquisition transaction.
Mr. Cope has extensive telecommunications leadership experience. He
joined Bell Canada in 2005 as President and COO and leads the Company's
customer-facing units, including Residential (wireline, Internet and video),
Mobility, Enterprise, SMB and Wholesale. Prior to joining Bell, Mr. Cope
served for five years as President and CEO of TELUS Mobility. Previously, he
led national wireless carrier Clearnet Communications as its President and CEO
for 13 years.
"I am pleased and excited by the opportunity to lead BCE as it enters a
dynamic new era," said Mr. Cope. "We have a strong market position and
compelling opportunities for profitable growth. We will continue adding to our
innovative suite of residential and business communications services while
focusing on providing all our customers with the highest quality service. I
look forward to working with Teachers', Providence, Madison Dearborn and the
talented Bell team to continue to grow the business in the years ahead."
"I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to George," said Mr.
Sabia. "Throughout his career George has demonstrated a deep understanding of
the telecom market and evolving customer needs. We have worked to simplify and
strengthen Bell's core business, delivering significant economic value to our
shareholders. I look forward to continuing to work closely with George and the
investor group as we progress toward the successful close of the transaction."
Jim Leech, President and CEO-designate, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan,
said: "We respect Michael's decision to step down and greatly appreciate his
valuable contributions and efforts during his tenure to streamline BCE and
provide the foundation for continued success. We are fortunate to have George,
a proven and exceptional telecommunications executive, ready to lead BCE
forward. He has a tremendous track record of driving growth and innovation at
leading telecommunications companies, and a deep understanding of the Canadian
marketplace. We look forward to working together with George and everyone at
BCE to serve customers and build value in the years ahead."
Mr. Cope serves on the Boards of Directors of BMO Financial Group and NII
Holdings, Inc. (formerly known as Nextel International), and on the Advisory
Board of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western
Ontario. A past recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Award, he holds an
Honours Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario.
The closing of the plan of arrangement involving BCE and the investor
group is subject to customary conditions, including the receipt of regulatory
approvals. On September 21, 2007, the arrangement was approved at a Special
Meeting of shareholders by more than 97% of the votes cast by holders of
common and preferred shares.
About BCE Inc.
BCE is Canada's largest communications company, providing the most
comprehensive and innovative suite of communication services to residential
and business customers in Canada. Under the Bell brand, the Company's services
include local, long distance and wireless phone services, high-speed and
wireless Internet access, IP-broadband services, information and
communications technology services (or value-added services) and
direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television services. Other BCE holdings
include Telesat Canada, a pioneer and world leader in satellite operations and
systems management, and an interest in CTVglobemedia, Canada's premier media
About Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
With more than C$8 billion in assets, Teachers' Private Capital is one of
North America's largest private investors, providing equity financing for
large and mid-sized companies, and venture capital for developing industries.
The C$106-billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is the largest
single-profession pension plan in Canada. It is an independent corporation
responsible for investing the pension fund and administering the pensions of
Ontario's 271,000 active and retired teachers.
About Providence Equity Partners Inc.
Providence Equity Partners is the leading global private equity firm
specializing in equity investments in media, entertainment, communications and
information companies around the world. The principals of Providence manage
funds with approximately US$21 billion in equity commitments and have invested
in more than 100 companies operating in over 20 countries since the firm's
inception in 1989. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI (USA) and has
offices in New York, London, Hong Kong and New Delhi.
About Madison Dearborn Partners
Madison Dearborn Partners ("MDP"), based in Chicago, is one of the most
experienced and successful private equity investment firms in the United
States. MDP has more than US$14 billion of equity capital under management and
makes new investments through its most recent fund, Madison Dearborn Capital
Partners V, a US$6.5 billion investment fund raised in 2006. Over the past 20
years, MDP's principals have completed over 200 investments. For more
information, please visit the MDP website at www.mdcp.com.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the
proposed acquisition of BCE. Such forward-looking statements are subject to
important risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The results or events
predicted in these forward-looking statements may differ materially from
actual results or events. As a result, you are cautioned not to place undue
reliance on these forward-looking statements.
The completion of the proposed transaction is subject to a number of
terms and conditions, including, without limitation: (i) approval of the CRTC,
Industry Canada and other applicable governmental authorities, (ii) necessary
court approval, and (iii) certain termination rights available to the parties
under the definitive agreement governing the terms of the transaction. These
approvals may not be obtained, the other conditions to the transaction may not
be satisfied in accordance with their terms, and/or the parties to the
definitive agreement may exercise their termination rights, in which case the
proposed transaction could be modified, restructured or terminated, as
applicable. Failure to complete the proposed transaction could have a material
adverse impact on the market price of BCE's shares. In addition, depending on
the circumstances in which the proposed transaction is not completed, BCE
could have to pay significant fees and costs as directed by the purchaser.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as
of the date of this release. We disclaim any intention and assume no
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additionally, we
undertake no obligation to comment on expectations of, or statements made by,
third parties in respect of the proposed transaction. For additional
information with respect to certain of these and other assumptions and risks,
please refer to the definitive agreement dated June 29, 2007, as well as BCE's
2007 Second Quarter MD&A dated July 31, 2007 and BCE's management proxy
circular dated August 7, 2007, all filed by BCE with the Canadian securities
commissions (available at www.sedar.com) and with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission (available at www.sec.gov).
For further information:
For further information: Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Deborah Allan,
(416) 730-5347; Providence Equity Partners, George Sard, Andrew Cole, (212)
687-8080, (415) 618-8750; Madison Dearborn Partners, Mark Tresnowski, (312)