Increasingly looking abroad for growth, BT has plugged two holes in its European coverage. It has pipped arch-rivals Deutsche Telekom of Germany and France Telecom to the post to acquire a stake in Switzerland's second telecomms network, and has signed an alliance with Austria's state operator, PTV Austria.
BT, in conjunction with Tele-Danmark, is investing $342.5 million in a 49 per cent stake in Newtelco, which is building a new telephone network along Switzerland's railway lines. The partnership beat a rival bid from Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom.
The Anglo-Danish duo will split the stake so that BT holds 20 per cent and Tele-Danmark - also a partner in BT's Concert joint venture with the US' MCI - takes 29 per cent. The remaining 51 per cent is held by the founding members of the group, Swiss Federal Railways, Union Bank of Switzerland and retail group Migros.
Concert has also signed an alliance with PTV, under which the Austrian telco will use Concert's network to offer its customers international conncetions and to carry much of its international traffic.
BT already has joint ventures in Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and France.
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