McDonnell-Douglas has sold a controlling stake in its FTCC, French Telegraph and Cable Company, subsidiary to independent US carrier Pacific Telecom of Vancouver, Washington. FTCC is one of the gaggle of companies acquired in McDonnell-Douglas’ Tymnet purchase, and it operates a private international electronic mail/telex/viewdata network. It has cable and satellite links to over 30 countries, over 16% of the dedicated service market between the US and the UK, and over 70% of the same market between France and the US. Its customers include IBM and the United Nations Organisation. Pacific Telecom, one of the largest non-Bell phone companies in the US, has bought 16,000 shares of FTC through its National Gateway Telecom private digital networks unit, and FTC issued it with additional shares to take its stake to 85.1%. It will change the acquired company’s name to FTC Communications. Pacific Telecom already has 80% of the Pacific Telecom Cable company formed as the US end of the project to lay a fibre-optic cable across the Pacific, with Cable & Wireless Plc the 20% minority shareholder; that cable forms a key part of Cable & Wireless Plc’ grand strategy to straddle the globe with a fibre-optic telecommunications cable highway.
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