BT sells off Spanish assets to Portobello Capital as it pares down international assets

Barcelona
BT sells off Spanish assets from its Global Services division to focus on access deals with large multi-national customers. (Pixabay)

As part of an effort to pare down its Global Services division's assets, BT sold its Spanish fiber networks and data centers to private equity group Portobello Capital.

BT said in Monday's announcement that it would continue to support the roughly 600 enterprise clients that it has in Spain. The Spanish business will also become a reseller of BT's global products under a resale agreement.

Through a wholesale agreement, BT will still have access to the domestic infrastructure in Spain, and will keep the doors open on its offices in Madrid and Barcelona. Assets in the deal include a 5,600 km owned and leased optical fiber network, fully owned city fiber networks in Barcelona and Madrid and three data centers.

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BT expects the deal to close in the first half of next year once it passes regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

"Today’s announcement is another key milestone in the execution of our strategy to make Global a more agile and customer focused business," said BT's Bas Burger, CEO of Global, in a statement.  "The transaction is great for BT, for our people and for our customers. Through agreements with the Spanish business, it provides continuity to both our multinational and local customers. It also enables us to focus on what we do best: providing secure connectivity and digital solutions to multinational companies globally."

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BT, which is the UK's biggest telco, endured an accounting scandal in 2017 in its Global Services division in Italy that led to a $10 billion decline in its market value at the time. Last year, BT announced it was cutting 13,000 jobs. Since then, BT has said it would sell off some of its international network assets in its Global division to instead focus on higher margin access deals to support its large multi-national customers.