BT Group has continued to restructure its operations by selling their BT Fleet division, which owns and manages many of the vehicles used by Openreach and various other companies (e.g. the AA, EDF and National Grid), to AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA for an undisclosed sum.
At present BT Fleet employs around 950 staff, owns 65 of its own garages (plus 500+ approved partner garages) and 33,000 of its own vehicles (out of the 80,000+ vehicles that they maintain for 26 blue chip companies). Most of the vehicles that BT owns are essential for their Openreach engineers and as such today’s deal includes protection for those vital services (necessary so as not to disrupt the on-going work of their broadband engineers). We assume some sort of leaseback arrangement is in place.
Under the plan AURELIUS’ operational task force will – over the coming months – support BT Fleet Solutions in executing a carve-out from BT, ensuring a “seamless continuation of the company’s day to day operations, whilst working to position the business as an independent entity.” BT Fleet is then expected to be rebranded within the next 12 months.
AURELIUS will continue to provide services to BT and plan to put fresh investment into a number of key areas, such as heavy goods vehicles, accident management and vehicle funding. Sadly both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price and the transaction is due to complete in H2 2019, although we note that the latest published accounts (2017/18) for BT Fleet showed revenues of £209.5m.
Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT Enterprise, said:
“The acquisition of BT Fleet Solutions by Aurelius is an exciting and significant step forward in its development and will deliver for its customers, people and the BT Group. Over the past five years, our Fleet business has grown into a multi-award winning market leader in the sector. The unrivalled expertise and experience of its people in managing and maintaining complex fleets has been key to this success.
With BT’s renewed focus on investing in the best fixed and mobile networks in the UK, and with BT Fleet Solutions well positioned to achieve further growth, the time is right for the business to find a new home. AURELIUS is ideally placed to support the next phase of BT Fleet Solutions’ development and deliver new services to its customers. I’d like to thank our colleagues in BT Fleet Solutions for all they have done for the business and the wider BT Group and wish them every success for the future.”