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24 March, 2020 - 11:46 By Tony Quested

Computacenter and BT’s French connection

Herts-based IT infrastructure specialist Computacenter is in talks to buy BT’s domestic operations in France. 

No figures are being disclosed for the proposed deal which would strengthen Computacenter's existing business across the Channel.

The transaction is subject to consultations with works councils over a minimum period of two months. 

This process will adhere to any additional French Government guidance issued as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It will then be subject to regulatory approval, with completion expected to take place by the end of 2020.

BT's domestic operations in France include management and maintenance of IT and network infrastructure as well as networking and related professional services. 

During the fiscal year ending in March 2019 they generated total revenue of c.€118m (c.£104m). The acquisition would enable Computacenter to strengthen its position in the French networking market and increase the number of its major domestic customers in France. 

The planned transaction is part of BT's ongoing transformation of its Global unit as it sharpens its focus on delivering next-generation networking, cloud and security services to multinational organisations.

BT would retain a strong presence in France serving multinational businesses and organisations, including access points to its global network and a cyber security operations centre. 

BT and Computacenter also intend to enter into a partnership agreement in France, ensuring continuity for existing customers and future growth opportunities.

Mike Norris, CEO of Computacenter Group, said: “This planned acquisition represents a small increase in our current revenues in France, which totalled €644.7m in 2019. 

“The current coronavirus pandemic shows the importance of secure and reliable networks to our customers and this deal would significantly strengthen our existing French business in this growth area.

“It would bring our customer offering in France closer to the broader portfolio in our larger European markets, providing a strong foundation for our continued long-term growth.”

Computacenter is a leading independent technology partner, trusted by large corporate and public sector organisations. It helps customers source, transform and manage their IT infrastructure to deliver digital transformation, enabling users and their business. Quoted in the UK, it employs over 16,000 people worldwide.

For the year ended December 31, Computacenter plc's revenue was £5,052.8m with Adjusted PBT of £146.3m.

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. For the year ended March 31, 2019, the group's reported revenue was £23,428m with reported profit before taxation of £2,666m.

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