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Report: BT seeking buyer for cable manufacturer unit

British Telecom has tapped investment bank Greenhill to handle the sale process for the telco's cable-making business BT Cables Ltd., London's The Daily Telegraph reports.

Greenhill is reportedly offering the BT unit under the BT Wholesale division to potential private equity buyers.

BT Cables, which the British operator acquired in 2012, provides BT infrastructure unit Openreach with fiber-optic and copper cables and supplies connections to other clients as well. The sale of BT Cables will enable the British operator to simplify its operations and focus on its main businesses, according to the report.

BT also plans to off-load overseas networks this year and use the capacity for internet services.

The report follows a British government decision to revive discussions on a full separation of BT and Openreach.

BT's rival operators Sky plc, TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC and Vodafone Group Plc have been invited to share their views on the matter. All three telcos are part of an industry coalition that has been pushing for a complete separation of Openreach from BT.

British telecom watchdog Ofcom in 2016 ordered BT to legally separate from Openreach. However, Ofcom stopped short of a complete separation as it believes such a move would greatly disrupt Openreach's operations.

BT and Openreach agreed in March 2017 to the terms of their legal separation, which provides for the creation of Openreach as a distinct entity with its own branding and is able to manage and operate its own assets and business.