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GE, BT Join for Buyout

June 1, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ A joint venture between General Electric Co. and British Telecommunications PLC has agreed to buy British property firm MEPC PLC in a deal valued at $5.1 billion.

Shares of MEPC PLC rose 23 percent to 514.25 pence ($7.66) in trading in London Friday on news of the deal.

The venture, Leconport Estates, will pay cash and assume MEPC’s outstanding debts.

Leconport was formed by GE Capital Real Estate and BT Pension Scheme, a pension fund for employees of British Telecom.

MEPC said it began courting potential buyers after growing concerned that its equity base was too weak. The company added that it will focus on commercial properties and sell off its non-core assets.

MEPC executives will continue in their present roles after the buyout is completed.

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