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BT receives informal interest in Openreach investment - source

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BT receives informal interest in Openreach investment - source
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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s BT <BT.L> has received informal interest from infrastructure funds keen to own a stake in its core fixed-line network, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Shares in the group, which have been trading at more than five-year lows, were up 1.9 percent at 0800 GMT.

BT owns the country’s national telecom and broadband network through Openreach, a legally separate division that is used by BT and its rivals TalkTalk <TALK.L>, Vodafone <VOD.L>, Sky <SKYB.L> and others to provide services to consumers.

The person familiar with the situation, who declined to be named because the process is not public, said funds had lodged informal expressions of interest which had not been courted and which would now be considered by BT.

The interest was first reported by Bloomberg, which said infrastructure investors and private equity groups had expressed interest in taking a minority or majority stake in Openreach.

BT launched a new strategy this month, cutting 13,000 jobs and seeking to combine the strengths of its fixed-line and mobile networks to offer faster services.

BT declined to comment.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Keith Weir)

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