In June 1993, BT paid dollars 4.3 billion for a 20 per cent stake
in MCI Communications Corp as part of its strategy to become the leading
global operator. When on 4 November 1996, it announced an agreed
takeover: ’BT seals USdollars 20 billion takeover of MCI to become
global force’ (the Times, 4/11/96), the move was welcomed by the
Despite the generally favourable coverage, three areas of concern
remained: ’AT&T could spoil the party with protest on access’ (the
Independent, 4/11/96), ’BT and MCI are weak in Asia’ and ’Doubts about
value of BT deal’ (FT, 4/611/96). BT successfully contained the problems
until 11 July 1997, when MCI’s financial results threw the cost aspect
under the spotlight. In contrast with the announced deal in 1996, the
news was grim: ’BT plunges as MCI merger threatened’ (Evening Standard,
11/7/97), ’BT criticised for handling of MCI warning’ FT, 19/7/97) It
remains to be seen whether the City’s nerves will be steadied with a
longer term perspective.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International.
Cuttings supplied by The Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers
Say’ can also be found at: www.carma.com/carma.