Shares jump as telecoms giant decides against pursuing joint venture to fund Openreach division.
BT has ditched plans to bring in an outside investor to boost its ultrafast broadband upgrade, as profits slipped ahead of a potential takeover bid by the French billionaire Patrick Drahi.
The chief executive, Philip Jansen, said he held talks with potential investors, but opted not to create a joint venture with its infrastructure builder Openreach to help bring the fastest connections to an extra 5m homes.
He said the decision was driven by the falling cost of upgrading its ageing copper network to faster full-fibre alongside a better-than-expected take up for the service.
BT’s plan to upgrade 25m homes and business to full-fibre by 2026 would now be solely delivered by Openreach.
Mr Jansen said: “We have conducted an extensive review and held discussions with prospective investors. However with fibre to the premise build costs coming down and take-up ahead of expectations, we have decided to retain 100pc of the project for shareholders and to remain fully focused on driving build and take-up.”