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Companies set up by an Act of Parliament for some specific public purpose such as the provision of gas, electricity or communications which, when operated under private enterprise before nationalization, needed certain statutory rights to cross the property of other people. The powers of statutory companies were contained in the Acts by which they were created and an additional Act would be needed to change them. This made them particularly rigid and inflexible bodies, something which contributed to them now being very rare.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary , 3rd edt.
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