British Telecom alliance with MCI formalized

August 06, 1993|By New York Times News Service

British Telecommunications PLC and MCI Communications Corp. said yesterday that they had reached definitive agreements making formal their alliance to provide global networks for multinational corporations.

They also named Chris Earnshaw, British Telecom's managing director of worldwide networks, as chief executive of the new joint venture company.

The two telecommunications companies, which announced the alliance in June, said the venture's worldwide headquarters would be in the Northern Virginia suburbs near Washington, where MCI is based. They have not chosen a specific site for the company, which is expected to employ 1,000 employees worldwide.

The companies have not yet chosen a name for the venture, but a British Telecom spokesman said that they planned to announce one in the fall.

"We've been going about 100 miles an hour to get this done," Daniel F. Akerson, MCI's president and chief operating officer, said in a telephone interview.

Mr. Akerson said the fact that the complex deal was completed in two months spoke well of the companies' work relationship. "I think we'll make good partners," he said.

The companies plan to invest $1 billion over five years. Their targets are large corporations that want one vendor to provide telephone and computer links between their offices and different continents -- "seamless, global, one-stop shopping," as Mr. Akerson called it.

British Telecom will hold 75 percent of the equity in the venture and MCI will hold the other 25 percent.

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