BT share price: Telco puts cable-making arm up for sale

Group looks to simplify business

BT share price: Telco puts cable-making arm up for sale

BT Group (LON:BT.A) has put its cable-making arm up for sale, The Telegraph reports. The move underscores the former telecoms monopoly’s efforts to simplify and focus its business, with the group also expected to offload overseas networks this year.

BT’s share price has advanced in London this morning, having added 0.76 percent to 229.74p as of 10:15 GMT. The stock is outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which has fallen into the red and currently stands 0.61 percent lower at 7,203.36 points. The group’s shares have lost just under a third of their value over the past year, as compared with a 1.2-percent drop in the Footsie.

BT Cables up for sale

The Telegraph reported last night that investment bank Greenhill was understood to be handling a sale of BT Cables, a Manchester-based unit within BT Wholesale. The division supplies the telco’s network unit Openreach with fibre-optic and copper cables, and supplies connections used in the rail network for signalling, as well as customers around the world.

The division has seen its sales than double since 2012 when the unit became part of BT. Last year, the unit reported a profit of £4 million. City sources have indicated to the newspaper that Greenhill has been touting BT Cables’ success to potential private equity buyers.

Analysts on telco

Deutsche Bank remains bearish on the former telecoms monopoly, having reiterated its ‘sell’ stance on the shares on Friday, with a price target of 248p. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average valuation of 323.71p.

UBS meanwhile commented last week that BT had secured ‘a good outcome’ in the Premier League auction, snapping a ‘slightly weaker’ package but at a smaller-than-expected cost.

As of 10:43 GMT, Tuesday, 20 February, BT Group plc share price is 230.49p.

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