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August 20, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:20pm


By CBR Staff Writer

British Telecommunications Plc has refused to comment on reports that chief executive Sir Peter Bonfield will be in line for a 3m pound bonus if the controversial $28m merger with MCI Corp goes ahead. Successful closure of the merger will bring about the introduction of the Concert Global Equity Portfolio, a series of share option programs designed to reward executives in Concert, the newly merged company. Sir Peter Bonfield stands to benefit generously from two out of the three schemes. BT – whose advertising encourages customers: ‘It’s good to talk’ – refused to say anything about stories that Bonfield may be in line for a multi-million bonus if the controversial deal goes through. Major UK shareholders have been urging BT to re-negotiate the merger and feel that BT directors – including Bonfield – were out- maneuvered in the deal. However, all the signs are that the BT board will press ahead on the original terms. MCI has now offered a significant concession to the US Federal Communications Commission in exchange for an early green light and says callers can choose which long distance carrier they want to use on BT calls to the US. BT watchers believe that MCI is unlikely to be rolling out concessions in exchange for speedier approval if it anticipates delays from the re-negotiation of merger terms. Bonfield’s salary was increased from January this year to 570,000 pounds and, as BT’s chief executive, he will be entitled to 125,000 BT shares (worth 475,000 pounds) if the company meets pre-determined performance targets set under the old British Telecom incentive scheme.

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