Select Page

—— Forwarded Message From: Ray Le Maistre Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 09:13:37 +0100 To: ‘Ian Andrew Bell’ Subject: RE: BT Selling Off Wireless?

But imagine what would have happened to BT if it had not won a 3G license in its own back yard….its share price would have reached an even deeper nadir than it already has. The decision to sell out of Japan is totally nuts. I could understand it if it was going to go a real major way to clearing its debt.If BT can just win the faith of its institutional investors it would not have to panic sell what are some of its crown jewels. So I hope you were all impressed by the social unrest I organized yesterday in London in protest at the auctioning of public airspace…..

Ray Le Maistre Editor/Producer Total Telecom ray.lemaistre [at] total.emap [dot] com Tel: +44 (0)20 7505 8630 Mob: +44 (0)7718 966 448 Fax: +44 (0)20 7833 9583

Alternative e-mail: ray_le_maistre [at] hotmail [dot] com

Postal address: 33-39 Bowling Green Lane London EC1R 0DA

—–Original Message—– From: Ian Andrew Bell [mailto:me [at] ianbell [dot] com] Sent: 01 May 2001 23:26 PM To: foib [at] yahoogroups [dot] com Subject: @F: BT Selling Off Wireless?

Gee, isn’t that crazy? This is what the greed of governments (and short-sightedness of companies) in the recent auctions of 3G licenses is resulting in. It’s breaking carriers because the revenue that absorbs those licensing costs is decades away — if ever. Carriers like BT in particular were way too overzealous in their bidding and it’s gonna kill them.



Tuesday May 1 8:28 AM ET BT Could Sell Mobile Phone Stakes

By BRUCE STANLEY, AP Business Writer

LONDON (AP) – Hobbled by debts and struggling for direction, British Telecommunications PLC is talking about selling its stakes in Japanese and Spanish mobile phone operators to rival Vodafone Group PLC.

The disclosures came just days after BT, Britain’s largest landline phone company, replaced its chairman of 14 years. Sir Iain Vallance had been widely blamed for BT’s costly acquisitions and plunging stock price.

BT said it was in advanced talks with Vodafone about the possible sale of its 20 percent stakes in Japan Telecom and the Japanese firm’s mobile subsidiary, J-Phone. The proposed sale was related to BT’s strategy to slash its debts, a company spokesman said.

Separately, Vodafone confirmed that it was in talks with BT about the possible acquisition of BT’s stake in Spanish mobile phone operator Airtel Moviles SA.

BT, a former state-owned monopoly, is struggling to repay some 30 billion pounds ($44 billion) in debts it amassed from buying third-generation mobile phone licenses and stakes in several overseas companies.

As BT’s star has faded, Vodafone’s has burned ever brighter. Vodafone has grown into the world’s largest mobile phone business, with footholds in the United States, Europe and Japan. Based on Monday’s closing share price, it had a market capitalization of 138.0 billion pounds ($200 billion).

BT, by comparison, was worth 36.7 billion pounds ($53.2 billion).

Vodafone already owns 25 percent of Japan Telecom, having just bought 10 percent of the company from U.S. heavyweight AT&T Corp. It owns 26 percent of J-Phone.

If a deal were struck, Vodafone’s shareholding in Japan Telecom would increase to 45 percent, and its stake in J-Phone would rise to 46 percent.

BT could generate more than $4 billion from such a deal.

However, a sale would be a clear setback for BT, given that the company only recently negotiated options to buy an additional 5 percent stake in J-Phone.

Together with AT&T, BT invested around $1.7 billion in Japan Telecom in 1989. It bought a stake in J-Phone in October.

Vodafone said its talks with BT about the possible acquisition of BT’s stake in Spain’s Airtel Moviles may or may not lead to an agreement.

Vodafone has a 73 percent stake in Airtel Moviles, while BT holds a 17.8 percent share.

The two announcements helped boosted BT’s share price by 4 percent to 581.5 pence ($8.43) each in midday trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Vodafone shares slipped 2 percent to 207.25 pence ($3.01) each.