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Mon, May 20, 2002 - Page 21 News List

BT considers bid for Colt

STAFF WRITER

BT Group Plc, the UK's largest phone company, is considering a Euro 1 billion (US$1.5 billion) bid for rival Colt Telecom Group Plc as part of efforts to revive its information technology services unit, the Independent said, without naming anyone. BT may hold informal talks with Colt Chief Executive Peter Manning this summer, the paper said. BT could make an outright bid and then sell off unwanted assets or it could take a minority stake in Colt for access to its network, the paper said. Colt's continental European networks in Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels and other cities, would be a good fit, the paper said, citing unidentified analysts. BT declined to comment, the paper said. BT last year shed its wireless phone unit and most of its overseas divisions to focus on traditional phone services and Web access. Unprofitable Colt was bailed out last year when Boston-based owner Fidelity Investments backed a US$708 million share sale.

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