News Roundup: BT must face up to its debt problem

Shareholders demand an explanation of BT's debt-reduction strategy

BT is facing crunch time. Managing director Sir Peter Bonfield needs to pay off a third of his company's £30bn debt as promised last November but in the current tech climate that is looking increasingly difficult. Proposals for selling off BT Wireless are looking less promising following the disastrous float of Orange and its recent property selloff has not made much of a dent in the debt wallet. Shareholders are getting increasingly frustrated by the situation and financial credit rating agencies are rapidly losing faith in BT's ability to pay off its debt. The telco has shied away from a shareholder meeting due on Tuesday evening, perhaps sensitive to the mounting speculation about it in the press. Analysts continue to see the sacrifice of Sir Peter and/or chairman Iain Vallance as the only option if BT wants to get any more money out of investors. NEWS:
BT slips to three-year lows
Wed, 21 Mar Calls for the heads of BT chiefs Bonfield and Vallance abound as shares plummet further BT pulls plug on shareholder meeting
Tues 20 Mar Calls for heads to roll, together with mounting concern over the telco's £30bn debt mountain, makes it a bad time to face the shareholders Analysis: BT's faces dilemma over debt
Wed, 14 Mar BT is suffering under the weight of debt and may have to do a trade-off with the City BT sells property to pay off debt
Thu, 04 Jan Got to pay for those 3G licences somehow BT bond sale may hit record
Tue, 05 Dec British Telecommunications(BT) prepared Monday to sell as much as $10bn worth of global bonds in what could be the largest dollar-denominated corporate bond sale ever, sources familiar with the sale said COMMENT
Will 3G cause meltdown?
The news from the telecoms world is pretty grim. We all thought that data-enabled mobile phones would be a great money spinner; they turn out to be a cash-sucking whirlpool. But Peter Judge asks whether the cost of third-generation mobile licences is really to blame for all the carriers' woes? Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet News forum. Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read what others have said.