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BT to sell Eutelsat stake for £363m

Brief: In a move widely seen as part of BT's continuing effort to re-focus on new-wave business, the telco has announced its intention to sell its stake in the satellite firm

BT has announced it is to sell its stake in Eutelsat for £363m.

The UK's biggest telco will sell its entire shareholding in the world's third-biggest satellite communications company, if the sale is approved by the board of Eutelsat, with the deal expected to be wrapped up before the end of the financial year.

The shares will be bought by GS Capital Partners 2000, an investment partnership affiliated to Goldman Sachs. BT has previously sold off its holdings in other satellite firms, including Inmarsat and Intelsat.

BT is not the first telco to bail out of Eutelsat. Telecom Italia sold its shares in the company in 2002 and France Telecom did the same early last year.

It's thought to be a move by BT to concentrate on its 'new wave' communications businesses - it recently bought US managed voice and data service provider Infonet for £520m to bolster its international presence.