BT continues Global retreat with Italian sales - Mobile World Live

BT continues Global retreat with Italian sales

10 DEC 2020

Telecom Italia struck an agreement with BT to acquire two of its Global unit’s businesses in Italy, the latest move by the UK incumbent to focus its overseas operations on large enterprises and multinationals.

The buy, for an undisclosed sum, includes BT’s units focused on serving small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and its public administration division providing to local authority and central government customers.

In BT’s financial year to end-March 2020, the units contributed a total of €90 million in revenue.

As part of the agreement, SME customers will continue to receive support from BT’s service centre in Palmero.

In a statement, Telecom Italia noted the buy would allow it to expand the scale and scope of its existing enterprise and public sector business, “accelerating digitalisation of the public affairs at central, regional and local levels”.

BT added the move was part of an “ongoing transformation” of its Global business unit, which it aims to focus on provision of networking, cloud and security services to large multinational customers.

The UK incumbent plans to retain the segment of its business in Italy serving large enterprises alongside its network facilities and data centres. It has already sold several other parts of its global operation.

BT’s business in Italy has been rumoured to be up for sale for some time after being the focus of an accounting scandal in 2017, which resulted in the company taking a £530 million write-down.

The deal is expected to close by the end of Q1 2021 subject to regulatory clearance.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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