BT fortifies takeover defences as value falls - Mobile World Live

BT fortifies takeover defences as value falls

24 AUG 2020

BT Group’s board of directors reportedly prepared for a takeover bid from rival operators and investors, drafting in Goldman Sachs to update its defence strategy after its share-price dipped to its lowest level in ten years.

Sky News reported BT had taken the steps to protect itself from takeover approaches after its market capitalisation reached £10.1 billion, half of what “many analysts” believe its Openreach arm alone is worth.

Sources noted BT had not yet received a formal takeover approach, but added a number of large private equity companies are exploring the possibility of a joint bid for the group.

Deutsche Telekom would likely be interested as it already owns a 12 per cent stake in the operator.

A bid would be significant politically, as BT committed to a £12 billion investment in deploying fast broadband across the UK by 2030.

BT is also expected to play a key role in shaping a new government bill later this year, outlining the country’s approach to telecoms infrastructure security. Therefore, any takeover would be subject to intense regulatory scrutiny, added sources.

However, given current value BT would no doubt be an attractive option to other players in the industry and investors.

Its shares have dipped in recent years as forecasts of the amount required to deploy the high-speed broadband network have increased.

The company also said last month it would be hurt by the ongoing Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, predicting falls in revenue and profit for the full year.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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