Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Sell, sell, sell! BT to offload French operations

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 26 March 20

BT are looking to sell their French unit to Computacentre as part of their strategy to increase agility

When BT announced that it would be streamlining its operation to focus on its domestic market, it really was not kidding. Just days ago, the UK incumbent operator announced the that it was moving to sell a large portion of its Latin American businesses to CIH Technology Holdings and now it is looking to offload its French holdings as well…

When BT announced that it would be streamlining its operation to focus on its domestic market, it really was not kidding. Just days ago, the UK incumbent operator announced the that it was moving to sell a large portion of its Latin American businesses to CIH Technology Holdings and now it is looking to offload its French holdings as well.

Negotiations are currently underway with UK-based Computacentre for the sale of BT’s French operations. The financial details are not currently known, but are expected to be around £104 million, making the unit just slightly smaller than the £110 million LatAm units.

“With this agreement we are close to reaching another milestone in the execution of our strategy to make BT Global a more agile business focused on the growing requirements of our multinational customers,” said BT’s CEO of Global, Bas Burger. “I believe this agreement will prove a key step forward for our customers, for our people and for BT. It also offers a positive future for our domestic customers and the people who support them.”

For IT company Computacentre, the deal would mean a solidification of its French operations, which earned €644.7 million in 2019, according to CEO Mike Norris.

“The current coronavirus pandemic shows the importance of secure and reliable networks to our customers and this deal would significantly strengthen our existing French business in this growth area. It would bring our customer offering in France closer to the broader portfolio in our larger European markets, providing a strong foundation for our continued long-term growth,” said Norris.

BT’s sale of its French operations are the latest in a string of sales which include, Latin American units, as mentioned, but also German and Spanish operations. Its Italian business, known for costing BT over half a billion in 2017 as a result of a high-profile fraud case, could be next on the chopping block.

Both BT’s sale to Computacentre and that of its LatAm holdings are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

 

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