StarTel Directors OK Stock Dividend of 20%

The board of directors of StarTel Corp., an Irvine-based maker of computerized phone systems, has approved a 20% stock dividend to broaden ownership of the company.

The dividend is payable Dec. 11 to shareholders of record Nov. 20.

Don M. Berry, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, said that most of the 4 million common shares outstanding are owned by himself, the company's other founder, the firm's key employees and its principal creditor. "If you don't have any stock out there trading," Berry said, "not many brokers are interested in following the company." The dividend places an additional 800,000 shares on the market, Berry said.

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