COLT chief denies TDC rumours and questions the future of alternative telcos

22 Apr 2005

The boss of UK-based corporate communications provider COLT Telecom has quashed rumours that the company is in talks with TDC over a possible takeover by the Danish incumbent. Earlier this month shares in COLT rose sharply on the news that TDC was close to completing a deal for the telco, but COLT’s chief executive Jean-Yves Charlier yesterday dismissed the speculation, saying the two companies ‘have had no conversations whatsoever’.

Mr Charlier’s comments came as COLT reported a 5% quarterly increase for the three months ending 31 March, in line with analysts’ forecasts. EBITDA for the period was GBP37.1 million, on the back of a 1.4% increase in turnover to GBP307.1 million. However, intense competition in the corporate sector meant that earnings were down on the corresponding period of last year, leading Charlier to comment that, unless COLT and its rival alternative telcos started making money soon: ‘there was a real question whether they have any future whatsoever’. COLT, 59% owned by US investment house Fidelity, operates an integrated 20,000km pan-European network that directly connects approximately 10,000 buildings in 13 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Ireland, with 32 metropolitan area networks augmented with a further 42 points of presence across Europe and eleven Internet Solution Centres.

United Kingdom, Colt Technology Services Group