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ICL Plc has clinched a 160m pound facilities management deal with BG Plc, formally known as British Gas Plc, to manage part of the company’s telecommunications business. BG says the telecommunications network that used to be operated by BG’s pipeline business, Transco, is one of the biggest in Europe. Transco will remain in existence, as it is only the telecommunications and information technology side of its business that ICL will be dealing with. The five year contract, which is effective as of the beginning of August, will see some 170 Transco staff will become ICL employees. ICL will own and manage the telecommunications infrastructure used by Transco and manage the voice data requirements of a number of BG’s businesses. The companies have been in talks for the past 18 months and ICL says the deal fits in with its intentions increase its presence in the services market. ICL plans to offer private network telecoms services to other commercial users and sees the deal with BG as a perfect entry in the telecommunications market, and says it is quite likely that it will apply for a licence in the future to become a telecoms provider.

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