UK Regulatory Announcement
19 December 2005
Centrica agrees sale of Onetel for up to £154 million
Centrica plc today announces it has agreed to sell its telecommunications
business Onetel to the Carphone Warehouse Group for a consideration of up to
Of this consideration, £49 million is contingent upon the achievement by
Centrica of certain performance targets for the sale of telecoms products to
British Gas customers over the next three years.
As part of this, Centrica has signed an agreement with Carphone Warehouse to
continue to provide telecoms products to British Gas customers.
Onetel, which includes the former British Gas Communications business and other
acquisitions, now has more than 1.55 million customers taking 1.8 million
services, principally fixed line. Turnover was £280m in 2004 and £162m in the
first half of 2005.
Sir Roy Gardner, Centrica chief executive, said: "We have grown Onetel
substantially over the past few years to become a significant residential fixed
line competitor to BT.
"However, as we have made clear for some time, global energy markets are
changing rapidly and we want to focus closely on growing our core energy and
related services operations in the UK and internationally. We will continue
offering telecoms services to our British Gas customers, but we don't need to
own Onetel to do this."
Of the consideration, Centrica will receive £132 million in cash on completion.
The net proceeds of the disposal will be used to help fund further investment
for growth in the UK and international energy markets.
The sale is cash and debt free and subject to adjustment based on the working
capital in the business at completion.
Centrica Media Relations 01753 494088
Centrica Investor Relations 01753 494900
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