MCI Chooses its Suitor

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MCI finally accepted a buyout offer from WorldCom after the Mississippi carrier at the weekend raised its offer to $36 billion, or $50 per share one of the largest stock deals for any company in corporate history.

The decision comes just weeks after GTE jumped into the fray by trumping WorldCom's original $30 billion stock deal with a $28 billion cash bid. Members of the WorldCom and MCI boards spent most of Sunday discussing the latest offer.

But, says the Wall Street Journal, GTE shouldn't be ruled out quite yet. "GTE assumed that the offers for MCI wouldn't stick where they were," the Journal quoted one executive as saying. "Chuck Lee (GTE's chairman) isn't going to retreat. It will be tough for him if he loses this fight."