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IN BRIEF Technology

Alliance, AXA Build Stake in WorldCom

June 12, 2002|Associated Press

Alliance Capital Management and its French parent AXA Financial have accumulated 10.9% of the stock of WorldCom Inc., the troubled telephone and data network company. AXA, an insurance and financial services company, filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission showing it held 321.8 million shares of WorldCom as of May 31. All but about 300,000 of those shares are held by Alliance Capital on behalf of its investor clients.

The SEC filing did not show how much was paid for the stock, which has lost 90% of its value over the last year, or during what period it was accumulated. WorldCom's stock fell 11 cents to $1.49 on Nasdaq.

Analysts said the AXA purchases could give the financial company the voting power needed to influence decisions by WorldCom's board of directors or to possibly bid for control of the company. Experts said such actions were unlikely, suggesting that the purchases could be seen as a show of faith in WorldCom's long-term prospects.

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