BT hopes for £100m from sale of alarms unit

Click to follow

The telecoms giant BT is poised to sell its RedCARE alarm systems business in a deal worth between £50m and £100m to Numerex, a technology company based in the US.

The telecoms giant BT is poised to sell its RedCARE alarm systems business in a deal worth between £50m and £100m to Numerex, a technology company based in the US.

Separately, the company is also said to be considering buying Scoot, the troubled internet directories business, before its so-called 192 directory inquiries service is opened up to competition.

The speculation comes just weeks after the telecoms giant spelt out its new group strategy in a move that will see it focus on its core UK activities and drive growth from its existing customer base through new products, particularly broadband internet access.

BT confirmed yesterday that it was holding "initial talks" with Numerex, a Nasdaq-listed company but refused to comment on the rumours of talks with Scoot.

The telecoms company is said to have signed a 'heads of agreement' document with Numerex, with a deal expected to be formally announced over the coming weeks.

BT RedCARE, which employs about 200 people, sells fire and security alarm systems to businesses, allowing them to monitor buildings remotely.

The sale of the division would be in line with the company's policy of exiting non-core businesses and would follow the recent sale of its 50 per cent stake in e-peopleserve, a human resources outsourcing business, to Accenture for $70m in cash.

The proceeds from that sale as well as the expected cash from the disposal of RedCARE will go toward cutting BT's estimated £14bn debt pile.

Earlier this month, BT's chief executive, Ben Verwaayen, pledged to get the company's debt down to below £10bn over the coming year in a move that is likely to see the company make more asset disposals.

Comments