BT nets Cellnet from Securicor

It'll take a lot of Transit vans to cart away the £3bn payola

BT is set to fork out a whopping £3.15 billion in cash to Securicor to acquire its minority holding in the mobile phone company Cellnet. The acquisition of Securicor's 40 per cent shareholding means that BT will control 100 per cent of the UK's second largest mobile phone operator behind Vodaphone. What's more, it appears that Securicor's shareholders have a windfall to look forward to thanks to the sale, which is still subject to regulatory approval. Securicor said that most of the cash would be paid directly to its shareholders. The rest will be pumped into Securicor's other concerns or used for future acquisitions. BT said the deal is likely to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. BTCellnet, of which BT already owns 60 per cent, boasts more than five million customers. Profit before tax for the year ended 31 March was £118 million. Net assets as at 31 March were £431 million. ®

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