BT denies talks to offload stake in Openreach
Openreach is potentially worth more than BT
BT Group has told Openreach staff that the division is not sale, contrary to a report that the firm is talks with potential buyers.
Openreach CEO Clive Selley said in a message to staff: “Many of you will have seen the reports overnight about BT being in talks to sell a stake in Openreach.
“I spoke to (BT CEO) Philip Jansen last night after the story broke in the newspapers. He is very clear – the story is inaccurate. Openreach is staying in the BT Group.”
There was speculation that a sale would help BT finance a planned £12 billion upgrade of its broadband network.
Potential buyers were named as Australian bank Macquarie Group and a sovereign wealth fund, who were said to have held talks with the company, according to the Financial Times.
Openreach, which maintains BT’s broadband network, is also used by a host of commercial rivals such as Sky and Talk Talk on a wholesale basis.
It is the most profitable division within BT and could be valued at about £20bn.
Ofcom ordered BT to legally separate Openreach from the rest of its business in 2017.