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US operator may sell its smart data centers to raise capital for new investments

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The Wall Street Journal has reported that AT&T has decided to appoint the Bank of America in order to investigate the practicality of divesting its assets. However, the operator declined to comment with regards on the price of the data centers, or identity of any potential buyers.

This isn't the first time that speculation has mounted in relation to AT&T and its plans to dispose of its capital expenditure-intensive data centers. In 2015, it was reported that the US telecommunications colossus was allegedly mulling over the sale of its centers and hosting business. As it transpired the date center element never materialized.

The US operator will have noted the amount of capital its rival Verizon raised in 2017. Verizon decided to sell 29 of its data centers and associated operations to Equinix, raising a total of $3.6 billion in the process.

Sources close to AT&T have claimed that the operator's unit would require some inward investment from a new owner, although it stressed that it would be of significant interest to a range of infrastructure companies which covers several industries. Analysts have also predicted that it is likely many private investment firms would be interested in a potential sale.

If a private investment company were to take the assets then that would fit in with the current trend that is being played out across the world with operators selling its physical assets in favor of focused investments in their core propositions.