BT continues sell-off, as German city fibre goes to 1&1 Versatel

BT continues sell-off, as German city fibre goes to 1&1 Versatel

Sören Trebst.jpg

BT has sold its fibre network in four German cities – Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart – to 1&1 Versatel.

Neither company has divulged a price. Neither BT nor United Internet, the listed German company whose brands include 1&1, have disclosed the transaction. But the lawyers involved on both sides have announced their involvement.

According to reports from Germany, the 1,590km fibre networks will add to Versatel’s existing 52,000km of fibre, which already covers 300 cities in Germany.

1&1 Versatel specialises in business customers and is one of the leading providers of data, internet and voice services in Germany, providing fibre access to municipalities and business parks.

Sören Trebst (pictured), CEO of 1&1 Versatel, said according to numerous reports: “The investment in the four city networks is a further step on the way to becoming the leading provider of fibre optics for companies.”

BT will still have access to the fibre via a sale and leaseback arrangement.

International law firm Simmons & Simmons said it and and its German technology and infrastructure transactions team have advised BT on the deal, pointing out that “closing of the transaction, which is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, will be announced at a later point in time”.

At the same time German law firm Heuking said two of its partners, Jörg Schewe and Markus Lennartz, advised 1&1 Versatel on the acquisition.

Lennartz said: “The particular challenge here was to negotiate and conclude the purchase agreement simultaneously and in a coordinated manner with the operational agreements for the operation of the fibre cable networks, which worked excellently in the cross-location team of colleagues.”

Heuking said the sale of the city fibre cable networks by BT Germany “comes as part of the company’s refocusing on global network, cloud and security solutions for multinational companies and international organizations”.

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