MCI WorldCom seals OzEmail deal

The long-awaited notification of the takeover of Australia's largest Internet service provider, OzEmail, by international telecommunications carrier MCI WorldCom has finally came to pass.

OzEmail reported to the Australian Stock Exchange that the sale of 107,424 ordinary shares at $US2.20 per share ($US22.00 per ADS) to UUNet Holdings Australia has been approved.

Officials from OzEmail have also announced that MCI WorldCom's subsidiary, UUNet Australia, has successfully achieved shareholder approval for the $520 million takeover. The deal was originally scheduled to close 5pm February 9, but was extended until February 24 because MCI WorldCom failed to attract the required amount of shareholders.

OzEmail directors Sean Howard, Malcolm Turnbull and Trevor Kennedy, who together owned 54 per cent of the company, had already accepted the deal, and the Foreign Investment Review Board and Australian Securities and Investment Commission approved the merger in January.

However, under corporations law, UUNet Australia was still required to gain 75 per cent acceptance in order to acquire compulsorily all outstanding shares. In the deal, OzEmail will reportedly become the Internet arm of UUNet Australia.

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