BT to sell French and LATAM domestic operations

BT Global is in talks with Computacenter to sell its EUR118 million domestic operations in France which, subject to regulatory approval, it expects to complete by the end of 2020. The deal includes management and maintenance of IT and network infrastructure, as well as networking and related professional services. The acquisition enables Computacenter to strengthen its position in the French networking market by increasing the number of major domestic customers in France.

BT says it will 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, ensuring continuity for existing customers and to address future growth opportunities.

“With this agreement we’re 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 BT Global.

“This planned acquisition…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,” commented Mike Norris, CEO of Computacenter Group.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of another divestiture for BT, which is selling selected domestic operations and infrastructure in 16 countries in Latin America to CIH Telecommunications Americas. This transaction is also subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete by the end of 2020.

BT will retain a strong presence in LATAM, delivering next-generation networking, cloud and security services to multinational customers across 21 countries. BT and CIH have entered into wholesale and reseller agreements, under which CIH will act as a regional channel for BT’s products and services and continues to supply domestic connectivity services to BT.

This business delivered around £110 million in revenues to BT in FY2018/19 and includes 650km of owned fibre networks, 2000km of leased fibre lines, four data centres and five teleports. The divested business is headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil.

“We are very excited to be re-entering global telecommunications after having successfully focused on the technology sector over a number of years. We have considerable experience in the region and the sector, and greatly look forward to growing the bu siness and providing the highest level of service to all customers in the region, including BT,” said George Kappaz, CIH’s Chairman.

The announcements follow the sale of BT’s Spanish fibre networks and data centres to Portobello Capital in December 2019, as well as the company exiting its central London HQ and slashing jobs. BT is committed to slashing cash spending by at least £1.5 billion over the next three years as it attempts to pay down debts and plug an £11 billion pension deficit.