BT is in talks to sell its British data centers to Hewlett-Packard (HP) for 1.5 billion pounds (about $2.9 billion), according to a report in the Sunday Times in the UK. An excerpt:
The deal, which is still being worked on but should be signed in the next few weeks, will lead to BT transferring 400 staff to HP. In exchange for the data centres, BT will take on the management of HP’s voice and data networks globally. It already runs them in Europe. This means the pair will be bidding together for contracts on a more regular basis, though insiders played down the idea that HP and BT were moving towards an eventual merger.
The deal would involve 24 BT data centres in the UK but not BT's facilities in the U.S. The companies will sign a 10-year contract for BT to continue using the facilities. The Times Online has additional details on the talks, and some background on BT's operations and why they are contemplating the deal.