BT Group (LON:BT.A) has asked Worldpay’s (LON:WPG) outgoing chief executive Philip Jansen to lead the former telecoms monopoly, Bloomberg has reported. The news comes as the blue-chip telco continues to look for a replacement to Gavin Patterson who announced his departure earlier this year following investor backlash.
BT’s share price has been little changed in London this morning, having inched 0.20 percent higher to 245.35p as of 08:44 BST. The advance is largely in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.25 percent higher at 7,044.77 points. The telco’s shares have lost a little over 10 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 6.3-percent dip in the Footsie.
BT approaches Philip Jansen
Sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that BT had made an offer to Worldpay’s outgoing co-CEO to lead the former telecoms monopoly. A person familiar with the matter indicated to the newswire that the company could announce a new CEO alongside its first-half results on November 1.
Bloomberg, however, cautioned that Jansen could still turn down the offer, and noted that according to one of the sources, BT had alternative candidates in mind, including Olaf Swantee, the Sunrise Communications Group AG CEO who previously ran UK wireless carrier EE until it was bought by the former telecoms monopoly in 2016.
The report comes after it recently emerged that BT was in advanced discussions with Jansen, whose CV includes a stint as the managing director of Telewest Communications.
Analysts on blue-chip telco
Deutsche Bank, which rates BT as a ‘neutral,’ set a price target of 235p on the shares this week. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 273.13p.