BT to sell Yell today?

That's the word on the street

BT is to announce later today the sale of it yellow pages and e-commerce outfit, Yell, the FT reported, although the sale could be delayed until after the holiday weekend if negotiators hit any last minute snags.

Quoting unnamed sources close to the deal, it reports that the BT business will be bought by a consortium including two private equity firms, Hicks Muse Tate & Furst and Apax Partners.

However, it seems BT won't get as much for the business as it hoped.

The operation was valued at £3 billion but following a ruling by the Office of Fair Trade (OFT) a fortnight ago in which it capped the ad rates Yellow Pages can charge, the value of Yell is understood to have slipped by around £1 billion.

A spokesman for BT described the report as "speculative".

BT is selling its family silver because it's in debt to the tune of £30 billion. ®

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