Allison Kirkby kickstarts BT tenure with Irish unit sale 


The move would mark the first major move from BT’s new CEO Allison Kirkby, who began the role in February this year 

BT may sell its Irish unit after shelving the proposal in 2020, according to a new Sky News report. Anonymous sources, the UK incumbent is working with Citi Bank to discuss the unit’s potential sale.  

In April 2019, BT first announced that it was seeking to offload its Irish unit, which at the time was worth around €300 million. After a year-long auction process with many interested bidders, London-based private equity firm Mayfair Equity Partners ultimately prevailed, having met BT’s price expectations, which multiple reports suggest fell around €300 million.

However, BT called off the deal in April 2020, having had “a change of heart”, as reported by The Times. The company said the decision unrelated to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The Irish unit is Europe’s largest telecoms service wholesalers by revenue and market share and the second largest fixed line wholesaler in the Republic of Ireland. It currently employs over 600 people. 

Having sold off its consumer unit to Vodafone in 2009, BT Ireland currently only serves business and wholesale customers, including Vodafone, Sky, Three, and Bank of Ireland. 

Discussions around the potential sale reportedly remain in the very early stages and a transaction may not necessarily follow.  

“We continually review our operations to ensure they align with our global strategy,” BT told Sky. “We have an excellent business in Ireland and no decisions have been taken.” 

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