BT Group agreed a £275 million deal to sell its iconic BT Tower to MCR Hotels as the operator continues a strategy to cut costs and simplify its property portfolio.

The company stated MCR Hotels plans to preserve the tower as an iconic hotel, with payment for the site to be made over multiple years.

As part of the process, BT’s remaining equipment will be progressively removed from the building and final payment will be made on completion. 

The building sits in the heart of London and had become somewhat redundant as a number of operations traditionally provided from site are now delivered over BT’s fixed and mobile networks, it explained.

BT completed the removal of microwave antennas more than a decade ago as they were no longer needed to carry telecoms traffic to the rest of the country.

The tower also served as an important site for BT’s Media and Broadcast operations as a key global interchange point for live television. However, the division has embarked on a process to migrate services on to a cloud-based platform.

As part of a plan to simplify operations, BT stated it had reduced the number of offices in its portfolio from more than 300 to around 30.

End of an era
Brent Mathews, BT’s property director, said the deal with MCR Hotels would give the tower a new purpose, “preserving this iconic building for decades to come”.

Ben Wood, CMO at CCS Insight, told Mobile World Live BT’s decision to sell the building will be considered the end of an era by many in the communications industry.

“However, it’s likely a highly impractical building that requires a significant amount of upkeep and is probably of less strategic importance to BT now its consumer brand has transitioned to EE.”