MCI WorldCom take-over bid welcomed by OzEmail directors

The directors of OzEmail will agree to the takeover bid by an Australian unit of MCI WorldCom announced yesterday, and are recommending stockholders to do so too unless a higher bid is offered, it has been reported.

It was announced yesterday that UUNET Holdings Australia, a wholly owned unit of MCI WorldCom, would make a cash offer to buy all the issued ordinary shares of OzEmail for $3.55 a share. The offer of a complete acquisition will remain open for at least one month from January.

OzEmail has 146.7 million ordinary shares issued, valued at about $521.4 million, the US company said in a media statement. MCI WorldCom has already purchased 14.9 per cent of the ISP or 21.9 million newly issued ordinary shares at $3.23 a share.

A formal proposal for the deal is expected shortly, following which, the company's board will make a formal recommendation to shareholders.

If the offer succeeds, OzEmail would become the Internet "operating arm" of UUNET Holdings Australia, the companies said. OzEmail has around 80 POPs (points of presence) in Australia along with 15 POPs in New Zealand.

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