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BT Group Moots £200 Million Sale of UK Fleet Division

Friday, November 9th, 2018 (3:51 pm) - Score 2,213
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A new report from Sky News is claiming that BT has appointed investment bank Lazard to oversee the possible £200m+ sale of their BT Fleet division, which owns and manages many of the vehicles used by Openreach and various other companies including the AA, EDF and National Grid etc.

At present BT Fleet owns 65 of its own garages (plus 500+ approved partner garages) and 33,000 of its own vehicles (out of 120,000 vehicles that they maintain). Most of the vehicles that BT owns are essential for their Openreach engineers and as such Sky News states that any disposal is likely to include a leaseback arrangement, so as not to disrupt the on-going work of their broadband engineers.

Apparently work on such an auction is still in the early stages and may complement their on-going efforts to sell off BT’s scandal hit Italian division (here). All of this follows new rumblings in the market, which have separately alleged that Deutsche Telekom (they’ve held a modest stake in BT Group since the EE merger) could be preparing a “mammoth takeover bid” for the operator.

Admittedly we’ve lost track of the amount of times that DT have been linked with a possible takeover bid for BT Group over the years, although if they do plan to make a serious offer then it will almost certainly occur after a Brexit deal has been agreed (assuming that happens).

DT’s CEO, Tim Höttges, has made no secret of the fact that he finds the company “very attractive” but due to the EE merger the company cannot sell its shares or buy more until the beginning of 2019. Lest we forget that BT will from early next year also get a new CEO, Philip Jansen, who could conceivably take the operator in a new direction (here).

Hopefully BT remembers to keep something more than just the kitchen sink under its ownership. We have asked for a comment, but so far none have been received.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. Eddie Clout

    Those “new rumblings in the market” about a Deutsche Telekom takeover… That’s just Bryce Elder ramping the BT share price; by pumping out these BT takeover rumours through his Alphaville column at the Financial Times!

    Bryce re-starts this story every couple months. For his pals in the City. Prepositioned in futures to profit from the juicy ‘Up-Ticks’ that this speculation creates!

    And that’s the magic of the City, guys and gals, and how it plays its fruitful one-twos with its stooge mouthpiece, the Financial Times!

    https://ibb.co/h5zjSq

  2. Matthew

    DT themselves have given hints they are debating buying as well this year.

  3. CarlT

    DT are certainly in a position where they can acquire. They’ve written down billions lost on their BT equity so be interesting to see if they either move in for the entire company while it seems relatively cheap or take the losses and exit.

    Not sure what there is for them in the current arrangement.

  4. A_Builder

    Yup but it would be a massive risk for DT if we come out of the EU and EU single marker rule book.

    BT is in a position that with good investment it can be nursed back to full health.

    I don’t see DT doing anything until there is some clarity on the shape of BREXIT.

    • CarlT

      Yes. Brexit is the mammoth elephant in the room, however BT are increasingly retrenching in the UK. The less business they do internationally the easier life is for a potential acquirer. Indeed it may be beneficial depending how the UK behaves longer term.

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