This morning, the pan-European network operator Colt Group (LON:COLT, news) announced new initiatives to cut costs and adjust to the shifting European service provider market. The company has for years now been managing a transition from legacy voice services into a more data-centric approach, and is now choosing to accelerate the process further.
The company will therefore be taking a €28-33M charge in Q4 to put the plan into effect, and expects net annual savings of €27M by 2014 to result. The changes will manifest themselves through a reduction in manpower for legacy products, partially offset by an increase in manpower for network and IT services etc. Colt has been shifting some of its workforce to Barcelona, Romaina, and India, and there will no doubt be more as a part of this.
And yesterday, Colt also announced a new executive appointment, bringing in Adriaan Oosthoek to lead its Data Center Services division as EVP. Much of Colt's transformation has been going into the development of the company's data center division and the cloud services it supports. Oosthoek is currently Managing Director of Telecity Group's UK business, and will join them at the end of March 2013.
Colt operates one of the most extensive pan-European network footprint, reaching 18,000 buildings across 39 major cities. They still look to me like a likely acquisition candidate at current prices, with a very nice fit with Level 3 but also with others perhaps. But they also have the capability to be a consolidation platform if they so choose.
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