BT's strategic announcements

That restructure in full

A new holding company

BT is going to create a new holding company, which will be "lean, focused and light touch". The company will seek approval for it at the company's AGM in July 2001. Sir Peter Bonfield reckons the look and feel of the company will be very different in a year or two.

A new network company

BT plans to create a new network company which will be both "structurally and managerially" separate. It will focus on wholesale customers. Market demand is set to double in five years, says BT.

It's hoped 'NetCo' should be up and running by the end of 2001 and will focus solely on meeting the needs of the other licensed operators and service providers, including BT Retail and BT Ignite.

The creation of NetCo is, according to Bonfield, "no less dramatic in its way than the original privatisation [of BT] back in 1984". BT is currently seeking approval from Government and the regulator, Oftel.

Listings

BT intends to list up to 25 per cent of BT Wireless in the second half of next year. It currently hold 3G licences in five major markets and boast 17.9 million customers.

It is planning to list up to 25 per cent of Yell, its directories business, by the end of this financial year.

BT Ignite - which is responsible for the botched roll-out of ADSL in Britain - could be in a position to float by the end of 2001.

Strategic geographic focus

BT is to concentrate its business in Europe and Japan and sell off everything outside this remit that is not part of its core business. It will continue providing global communications Concert, its 50:50 joint venture with AT&T.

Dosh

BT reckons the disposal of its non core assets will raise around £5 billion ($7.1 billion) cash. Combined with the listings of BT Wireless and Yell, BT reckons it will be able to reduce debt by at least £10 billion by December 2001. ®

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