BT to Take Control of Irish Telco

British Telecommunications PLC will take over full ownership of Irish telecommunications company Ocean Communications Ltd., BT announced today.

BT will buy the 50 percent share in Ocean Communications owned by US insurance group American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Ireland's electrical utility, Electricity Supply Board (ESB), BT said in a statement. It said the deal is worth around 130 million pounds (US$213 million).

It already owns 50 percent of the telecommunications company, which it started with AIG and ESB as a joint venture in June 1998, BT spokesman John Salmon said.

Ocean Communications received its operating licence in November 1998. It sells fixed line phone and Internet services to small and medium sized companies. The company has just over 100,000 customers and 300 employees, Salmon said.

BT, located in London, can be contacted at +44-171-356-5000, or at http://www.bt.com/. Ocean Communications Ltd., located in Dublin, can be contacted at +353-1-676-5831 or on the Web at http://www.ocean.ie/.

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