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BRIEFLY / TECHNOLOGY

BT Unveils Plan to Trim $14 Billion Off Debt

November 10, 2000|Associated Press

British Telecommunications announced an aggressive restructuring plan to cut its debt by $14 billion by selling stock in its mobile-phone business, network operations and other assets. BT plans to create at least three new publicly traded companies--BT Wireless, NetCo. and a phone directory business named Yell--and sell about 25% of the stock in each. The company also said it is studying a possible stock listing for its Internet business, BT Ignite. The announcement, which came as BT reported a sharp drop in second-quarter pretax profit, failed to restore much confidence among investors. The company's American depositary receipts fell $5.75 to close at $109 on the NYSE. By selling stock, BT hopes to reduce its debt load from an estimated $42.75 billion by the end of next March to about $28.5 billion by the end of 2001. Meanwhile, to lower operating costs, BT also said it will have cut 2,000 more jobs by the end of the year in addition to the 3,000 already planned.

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