BT continues overseas divestment with negotiations to offload French assets

News

The UK operator and Computacenter are in exclusive talks regarding the sale of BT’s domestic operations in France.

The transaction is subject to consultations with works councils over a minimum period of two months. The process will adhere to any additional French Government guidance issued as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It will then be subject to regulatory approval, with completion expected to take place by the end of 2020.

BT’s domestic operations in France include management and maintenance of IT and network infrastructure, as well as networking and related professional services.

During the fiscal year ending in March 2019 these operations generated total revenue of about £104 million (around €118 million) for BT.

The acquisition would enable Computacenter to strengthen its position in the French networking market and increase the number of its major domestic customers in France.

Planned transaction

According to BT, “The planned transaction is part of BT’s ongoing transformation of its Global unit as it sharpens its focus on delivering next-generation networking, cloud and security services to multinational organisations”.

The operator stresses it would retain a strong presence in France serving multinational businesses and organisations, including access points to its global network and a cyber security operations centre.

BT and Computacenter also intend to enter into a partnership in France, to ensure continuity for existing customers and future growth opportunities.

“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 Bas Burger, CEO of Global, BT.

Secure and reliable

Mike Norris, CEO of Computacenter Group, said, “This planned acquisition represents a small increase in our current revenues in France, which totalled €644.7m in 2019. 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”.