Saturday, 30 May 2020

Negotiations for sale of BT Ireland fall through

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Monday 06 April 20

BT has reportedly ended discussion over the sale of its Irish business to a private equity firm

In April 2019, BT announced that it was looking to offload its Irish unit, worth roughly €300 million. Bidders in the process were numerous, with London-based private equity firm Mayfair Equity Partners coming out on top…

In April 2019, BT announced that it was looking to offload its Irish unit, worth roughly €300 million. Bidders in the process were numerous, with London-based private equity firm Mayfair Equity Partners coming out on top.
 
Mayfair Equity reportedly met BT’s price expectations, but negotiations have continued for the past seven months.
 
Now, BT has reportedly terminated the discussion due to what The Times is describing as ‘a change of heart’ – a frustrating end to nearly a year long process. The Times’ sources suggest that this is the third time in six years that BT have tried to sell off its Irish unit without success.
 
Given the current climate during the coronavirus pandemic, it would be easy to assign this sudden change of heart to extraneous circumstances related to the virus, but this is reportedly not the case.
 
BT has been pulling back from its oversees investments for some time, as part of a new strategy to focus more on its domestic markets. The operator recently sold a large chunk of its Latin American businesses, as well as selling its French holdings to Computacenter. 
 
Its Irish unit was expected to follow suit but now appears to be in limbo, with BT’s ultimate intentions for the unit unclear at this time.
 
 
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