BT Ireland could be sold for £400m

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(Image credit: BT)

BT is reportedly plotting a sale of its Irish business as part of a major restructure of BT Global Services (BTGS).

The Daily Telegraph says BT Ireland, which employs 600 people and has a 2,500km fibre network running alongside major road and rail routes in the country, recorded €34 million profits on €425 million of sales last year.

These figures could attract private equity firms and pension funds to bid for the division, which could cost as much as £400 million.

BT Ireland

BT Ireland was formed through the acquisition of Irish telco Esat in 2000 and initially served both business and residential customers with landline, broadband and mobile services. However, it now only focuses on fixed line services for the enterprise market.

The Esat Digifone mobile network was consumed by BT Wireless before it was spun off as O2 and eventually sold to Telefonica in 2005 to become O2 Ireland (which itself merged with Three Ireland in 2013.)

Later, in 2009, BT Ireland offloaded its consumer and small business customers to Vodafone in order to focus on its corporate business.

BT’s business units have undergone a series of changes ever since an accounting scandal in Italy in 2016. Last year, BT combined its Business and Public Sector and its Wholesale and Ventures divisions into BT Enterprise, while BTGS has been handed a new strategic direction and chief executive.

It is thought that BT is keen on divesting further infrastructure assets in other countries, instead serving corporate clients and multinationals with cloud services.

BT has been approached for comment.