NTL buys Workplace for £81m

Acquisition of Workplace could help NTL compete against BT for corporate market.

NTL, one of the UK's largest telecommunications providers, announced Friday it is to buy networks firm Workplace Technologies.

The deal is part of NTL's push to go head to head with BT in the corporate sector. Worth £81m, the acquisition of Workplace will allow NTL to offer better services to the business market, according to NTL chief executive Barclay Knapp. "The acquisition of Workplace Technologies will significantly strengthen our ability to be the total communications solutions provider for our business customers," he said.

IDC analyst Scott Moore agrees: "This deal will extend its service, offering allowing it to do more than just provide the cable for businesses," he said.

With its deal to buy the residential cable assets of Cable & Wireless set to go through in around six weeks, NTL will provide about two-thirds of the cabling for the UK cable-TV market with penetration in an estimated 44 percent of homes. Moore believes NTL's recent deals will put it in a good position "to compete with BT and become the UK's second telephony operator".

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