BT boot sale offers more bargains

Roll up! Roll up! We still need £5 billion

BT is continuing in its telecoms boot sale with a 33 per cent stake in Malaysian operator Maxis up for the taking.

As always happens in boot sales, the best items go first, so if it was a share in Japan Telecom you wanted, you're too late. That - as well J-Phone and Airtel stakes - have already been snapped up by Vodafone for £4.8 billion. So rifling through the rest of its holdings, we have Maxis.

Maxis is going for £350 million. It cost BT £280 million three years ago. And Malaysian company Usaha Tegas has picked it up. Now what else is there in the boot?

BT needs to clear out its garage so it can make the aimed-for £10 billion reduction in its £30 billion debt and pick up the "A" credit rating that it enjoyed for so long.

BT has still yet to give details about the widely expected £5 billion to £10 billion rights issue. Presumably it's seeing how much it can get from the stall sale until it pitches the City. Ironically, the rights issue may be hampered by Vodafone's £3.5 billion share issue on Wednesday so it could afford to buy BT's shares. ®

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