May 15, 2020

BT in talks to sell multibillion-pound stake in Openreach

BT is in talks to sell a multibillion-pound stake in its Openreach division to infrastructure investors in a move that would bankroll a £12bn upgrade of Britain's broadband network and boost the telecom group's flagging share price. Openreach, which maintains the UK's national network, is the most profitable division within BT and the potential stake sale could value the unit at about £20bn, said people briefed on the talks. Talks are at an early stage and the mechanism by which investors would buy a stake in Openreach remains under discussion. A stake sale would unlock the value of Openreach, which is a legally separated company within BT but fully owned by the former state-owned telecoms operator. By contrast, the Labour party under previous leader Jeremy Corbyn planned to renationalise BT and Openreach to invest in fibre.

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