BT share price: Orange CEO expects decision on mobile deal by Christmas
iNVEZZ.com, Thursday, December 4: Orange’s (EPA:ORA)chief executive expects BT Group Plc (LON:BT.A) to decide before Christmas on whether to bid for either EE or O2, Reuters has reported.
In a separate development, City A.M. yesterday revealed that TalkTalk’s(LON:TALK) boss had urged Ofcom to consider the separation of BT and its Openreach division.
BT’s share price has added just under 0.8 percent in London so far today.
Reuters today quoted Orange’s chief executive Stephane Richard as saying that he expected BT Group to decide before Christmas on whether to bid for the UK’s largest mobile network operator, EE, or its smaller rival O2.
Last month, EE’s parent companies Orange and Deutsche Telekom (ETR:DTE) confirmed that they were in talks to sell the business to the UK telecoms firm. (BT share price: EE’s owners confirm ‘exploratory’ talks with UK telecoms firm) BT said on 24 November that it was also talking to Telefonica SA (BME:TEF), the Spanish owner of the UK’s second-largest mobile carrier, O2. The FTSE 100 company, however, noted that the discussions were “at a highly preliminary stage”.
“BT has its own calendar,” Orange’s Richard told Reuters, speaking at a conference on France’s economy and business climate.“You should know more a few days before Christmas.”
**TalkTalk chief comments**
City A.M. yesterday reported that TalkTalk’s chief executive Dido Harding had called on the UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom to consider the separation of BT and its infrastructure arm Openreach.
Her comments come after last month news emerged that BT was planning to shed its wholesale arm and fold the business into its infrastructure division. (BT share price: Company plans to merge Openreach and Wholesale) The move could potentially make BT both a supplier and a rival to some providers, with Openreach selling network access to other phone carriers.
City A.M. quoted a BT spokesperson as commenting that Openreach was “heavily regulated so there is no need for further separation from the rest of BT”.
**Analysts on BT Group**
According to the Financial Times, as of November 29, the consensus forecast amongst 39 polled investment analysts covering BT Group has it that the company will outperform the market. The 19 analysts offering 12-month price targets for the FTSE 100 telecoms group have a median target of 460.00p, with a high estimate of 600.00p and a low estimate of 245.00p.
As of 15:48 GMT, Thursday, 04 December, BT Group plc share price is 412.15p.