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Streetwise gives you news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance
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BCE's debt headscratcher Add to ...

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How many CFAs does it take to calculate the leverage on the BCE Inc. leveraged buyout? More than there are on Bay Street, apparently, but it seems clear that the once gold-plated BCE bonds are headed for the land of junk.

Nobody, not even the country's sharpest bond analysts and investors, is quite sure just exactly how much debt the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan-led buyout group will pile onto BCE if the planned leveraged buyout of the company comes to fruition. The best guesstimates seem to be between $26-billion and $29-billion of new borrowings on top of what's left outstanding when a few inconvenient maturities are redeemed (mostly the ones coming due during the four or five years the Teachers group is likely contemplating owning BCE before finding another buyer).  

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