BT share price: Telco looks to sell Italian division

Group appoints Credit Suisse to find a new owner for scandal-hit unit

BT share price: Telco looks to sell Italian division

BT Group (LON:BT.A) has called in bankers to offload its Italian business which was hit by an accounting scandal, The Telegraph reports. The sale, however, is unlikely to generate significant proceeds.

BT’s share price has been steady in today’s session, having inched 0.16 percent higher to 219.10p as of 08:30 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.63 percent higher at 7,633.93 points. The group’s shares have lost a little over than 23 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.8-percent gain in the Footsie.

BT to offload Italian unit

The Telegraph reported over the weekend that BT had appointed Credit Suisse to find a new owner for its Italian division as the first stage of what is expected to be a phased international retreat by its Global Services arm. City sources, however, told the newspaper that the sale was not expected to generate significant proceeds with the telco having written down the value of BT Italia to zero in the wake of the accounting scandal.

Last year, the former telecoms monopoly revealed that it was forced to write down the value of its Italian business by £530 million following the discovery of inappropriate accounting behaviour at the unit.

No obvious buyers for Global Services

The news comes after BT recently announced that its chief executive officer Gavin Patterson would step down later this year.

The Times meanwhile reported that analysts at Berenberg had commented recently that there were “no obvious buyers of the entirety of that business [global services], that transactions may prove complicated and that any disposals could damage the value of what is left”.

“A new CEO may be willing to pursue a more aggressive disposal strategy,” the broker added.

As of 08:58 BST, Monday, 25 June, BT Group plc share price is 219.68p.

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