BT Group
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BT’s share for the year ended, or as at, 31 March 2001:
Turnover 2,576m
Operating profit before goodwill amortisation 19m
Share of venture’s net assets, including goodwill 1,430m
Concert is a major global communications joint venture owned equally by BT and AT&T. It combines what were the trans-border assets and operations of BT and AT&T, including the majority of their international networks, international traffic and international products for business customers.

Supporting Concert, BT, AT&T and their respective families of joint ventures is a common networking architecture planned to provide seamless service to customers. Concert’s frame relay network reaches every major city in the UK and USA and extends to over 200 cities in 60 countries. Its global public network reaches 237 countries directly. Concert also has investments in 115 undersea cables totalling more than 480,000 kilometres globally.

In addition to using BT and AT&T’s extensive networks in the UK and USA, Concert has built a high-speed IP backbone network, spanning 21 cities in 17 countries. This supports a wide range of internet access, internet backbone and IP virtual private network services. Concert’s IP network is interconnected with BT and AT&T’s domestic IP backbone networks, which distribute Concert services in the UK and USA.

Work is underway to converge Concert’s network, infrastructure and managed services with those of AT&T Global Network Services, previously IBM Global Network. When this is complete, the Concert IP backbone network should extend to more than 60 cities worldwide and the combined portfolio of IP, data and virtual private network services will be offered through Concert, AT&T and BT Ignite distribution channels, particularly for delivery in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. See “Discussions with AT&T regarding Concert and BT Ignite”, below.

Discussions with AT&T regarding Concert and BT Ignite
We and AT&T are discussing ways to improve the performance of the business and strengthen the scope of the relationship between us and AT&T in business services. These discussions include a variety of strategic alternatives to the Concert joint venture, including the sale to, or other business combination of our business services operations with, AT&T’s business services unit upon its planned separation from the remainder of AT&T. Such a transaction could include all or a substantial portion of our business services operations, including BT Ignite and our interest in Concert, in exchange for some mixture of cash, equity and/or other instruments in the combined business. These discussions may or may not lead to any sale or other business combination and may or may not lead to any change in the existing alliance arrangements. As possible alternatives to such a transaction, we have also been considering a narrowing of Concert’s business scope, as well as its termination as a joint venture. There can be no assurances, however, that agreement could be reached with AT&T with regard to either of such alternatives.

The BT Board believes that the BT Ignite and Concert businesses will generate potentially significant value for the group in the future. The Board will keep under review whether this value is best achieved for shareholders by a combination of these businesses with AT&T’s business services unit, a disposal of all or part of the businesses or their separation from BT by way of IPO or demerger from BT. Where necessary, we will seek the approval of our shareholders.
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