There had been rumours for quite some time about whether BT were going to sell TelecomSoft, so when the news eventually broke it wasn’t a surprise to some industry insiders.
The news was made public on February 24th 1989:
TELECOMSOFT FOR SALE
British Telecom announced today its intention to sell its entertainment software division, TelecomSoft.
Explaining the decision, Mr Tom Baird, Commercial Development Manager, Communication Systems Division, said: “The Nature of British Telecom’s business is constantly evolving and entertainment software publishing is no longer consistent with the Company’s corporate goals as a world-class supplier of telecommunications and information products and services.”
“TelecomSoft is now organised as an autonomous business and it operates entirely independently of other British Telecom divisions.”
Paula Byrne, General Manager of TelecomSoft added: “TelecomSoft is an established operation which has consistently improved its financial performance, culminating in last year’s revenues of close on 6 million. The last two years have seen great achievement for TelecomSoft. As the foremost developer of 16-bit games software in Europe, with three strong brand names Rainbird, Firebird and Silverbird, the organisation’s business has never been stronger.”
Talks are now being held with a variety of interested parties.
Other Sale facts
In hindsight, the signs were there for staff in the months leading up to the February ’89 announcement.
There had been a number of internal semi-regular staff meetings where the lease on the New Oxford Street office appeared on the agenda. Having moved to the office in the Summer of 1986, the lease was due to expire in the Summer of 1989. In the end, BT decided to come clean about their intention to sell the business, thus removing their obligation to sort out the renewal of the current (expensive) central London office lease before it expired.