BT Group (LON:BT.A) is preparing to sell off its City of London headquarters in a sale-and-leaseback deal, The Times has reported. The news comes after the former telecoms monopoly recently unveiled plans to shed 13,000 jobs over the next three years, to leave its City headquarters and to adjust its property portfolio as part of its strategy to boost its balance sheet.
BT’s share price has climbed marginally higher in London this morning, having gained 0.32 percent to 232.30p as of 08:53 BST. The advance is largely in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.41 percent higher at 7,648.98 points. The group’s shares have lost just under 19 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a four-percent gain in the Footsie.
BT prepares to offload London HQ
The Times reported this morning that the former telecoms monopoly was close to appointing advisers to sell the building in St Paul’s, which it has occupied since 1985. BT is expected to seek about £200 million with a two to three-year lease guaranteed by the company.
The newspaper notes that the telco’s deal to offload its headquarters would take advantage of a resilient commercial property market, with research by property adviser CBRE showing that about £2.6 billion was traded via eight deals in only ten days in the City in June.
Analysts on former telecoms monopoly
Numis Securities reaffirmed the former telecoms monopoly as a ‘buy’ this month, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MaketBeat, the FTSE 100 company currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 294.71p.
BT is scheduled to update investors on its first-quarter performance on July 27.