Fifteen Clear Communications projects were affected while issues surrounding the company's ownership were being resolved, industry sources say.
There had been some speculation that Telstra was in the market for Clear, New Zealand's second-largest telco. Industry sources say BT had been at loggerheads with the American shareholders over the future direction for Clear and that discretionary spending had been frozen while the issues of ownership were sorted out.
The official line from Clear before the purchases were announced was that it was reviewing a number of internal issues. However, the sources say all IT projects, other than those to do with Y2K remediation, were stalled. They indicate up to 15 projects were affected, involving as many as 100 people.
MCI and TVNZ had foreshadowed for some time that they were prepared to sell their shareholding. Todd says the company's preference was not to remain the sole minority shareholder.
BT has bought the respective 25% holdings of three other shareholders, MCI Worldcom, TV New Zealand and Todd Corporation to take its holding in Clear to 100%.