But Openreach and BT dismiss reports as “inaccurate”
BT is said to be in talks to sell its multi-billion pound stake in Openreach, which runs the UK’s broadband network.
The Financial Times revealed that potential investors include Australian investment firm Macquarie Group.
In the article, the FT said that talks have been ongoing for the past three weeks, according to three sources with ‘knowledge of the discussions’.
It comes a week after BT announced challenging financial figures, that saw the telco suspend its dividend until 2022.
Last week, the telco also revealed its ambitious plans to connect 20 million premises with full fibre by the mid 2020’s. This is widely expected to cost £12 billion.
Openreach is the most profitable division within BT, with numerous outlets reporting its value to be around £20 billion.
Last week BT announced pre-tax profits dropped 12 per cent to £2.3 billion, while also confirming shares likely resume at 7.7 pence a share, much lower than the previous 15.4 pence beforehand.
Openreach has covered 2.6 million homes in the UK with its full-fibre network.
Since talk of the reported negotiations, shares in BT are up 9 per cent this morning (May 15).
However Openreach CEO Clive Selley told his employees that such reports are inaccurate.
In a message posted on the company’s intranet today he said: “Many of you will have seen the reports overnight about BT being in talks to sell a stake in Openreach.
“I spoke to 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.
“Let’s build the huge fibre broadband platform, keep raising service levels and continue the very big job of upgrading our customers throughout the UK from copper to fibre.”