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The British government has cashed in its 1 pound special preference share in British Telecommunications Plc, a move which relinquishes the government’s legal right to meddle in certain of BT’s internal affairs. The special golden share was issued in 1984, and it required BT to gain consent from the government before changing its articles of association. A company article set out detailed aspects of company law such as the majority of votes required to pass resolutions at shareholder meetings. The purpose of the share was to prevent the hostile foreign takeover of the UK’s biggest telecoms provider, giving the government a backstop position, which according to BT, is deemed no longer necessary. In related news, BT announced in August that the shareholder majority required to approve its revised merger terms with MCI Corp had been reduced from 75% to just over 50%.

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CBR Staff Writer

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