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BT may include parts of Ignite in Concert Sale
Sunday 03 June 2001 09:55:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Reuters carries a report from todays (3rd June) Sunday Times regarding possible cost-cutting measures in the Concert BT division.

BT Chairman Christopher Bland is quoted as describing Concert's loses as 'unsustainable' and that stemming the loss of 'tens of millions each month' was a top priority in BT's restructuring.

Concert which is currently a joint venture in the US between AT&T and BT may become a solely AT&T affair, as BT has been looking to sell it's half of the venture. Where DSL services fit in, is that BT want to include parts of the Ignite corporate telecoms division in the deal. The problem is that the talks are apparently stalling due BT's wish for a deal involving BT been paid some cash, AT&T are wanting to give it equity instead ( which obviously doesnt help BT's debt situation as much ).

Bland is quoted as saying "If we dont sell to AT&T, there are two choices: we slim right down or we get much bigger by merging with Ignite, If we merge with Ignite, we will want to take cash out,".

Which components of Ignite that BT are considering including in the deal we dont know as yet, the whole situation is based around BT's new found desire to reduce the number of loss making divisions it has so that it can return itself to a profit and reduce it's £30bn debts. Other divisions are currently running at a loss, running into several million a month, Openworld is one such division - nothing has been mentioned with regard to Openworld though.

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