Clive Selley, BT Openreach’s CEO, has told staff in a memo that rumours a large stake in the company is on the block are not true.
The rumours had seen BT shares up 10 per cent in midweek. However, analysts agree the reports must be wide of the mark as a number of senior execs have coincidentally made major share buys – this would be outside insider dealing rules if a deal is in the offing.
Openreach is a legally separate unit of BT which owns its nationwide access network, the FT, which speculated in the deal, valued Openreach at £20 billion (€22.5bn).
BT’s competitors and others have been demanding the sell-off for years but deals have always foundered on the parent’s complicated and deficit laden pension fund. Ironically, the once dull wholesale unit is now the most valuable part of the otherwise floundering telco.