Altice founder Drahi seeks bigger stake in UK’s BT



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Altice founder Drahi seeks bigger stake in UK’s BT

Patrick Drahi, the French-Moroccan billionaire businessman having had French, Portuguese and Israeli citizenship and the controlling shareholder of Europe-based telecom mogul Altice, has been exploring an option to heighten up his stakes in UK’s BT Group, three people familiar with the issue had unveiled on Saturday on condition of anonymity given the scale of sensitivity of the subject-matter.

Latest move from Drahi came forth nearly half a year after the billionaire businessman had purchased a 12.1 per cent stake, worth about $2.95 billion (£2.2 billion), in the British telecom giant on June 10, nonetheless, since Drahi became a major stakeholder in BT, the London-based British telecom conglomerate holdings’ shares’ prices had plunged as much as 15 per cent.

So far, Drahi’s Altice UK has been the largest stakeholder in BT ahead of German Deutsche Telecom that owns a 12.06 per cent stake in the UK-based telco behemoth, however, market gossips loudened over recent past that Deutsche Telekom would highly likely to divest its BT Group stakes.

Amid such favorable landscape for Drahi to raise stakes in BT Group, a press agency report had quoted three sources as saying late on Saturday that any stake-raising plan from Drahi’s Altice UK would involve Deutsche Telekom.

Drahi looks to increase his stakes in UK’s BT Group

As Drahi has been brewing off an option to put his fiber-optic rollout to a better use, the billionaire businessman had previously backed BT’s business model to create a fiber-optic network that in effect would serve as many as 25 million houses by end-2026.

Nonetheless, since Drahi’s accord with BT Group involving not to make a takeover offer for the company, signed off back in June, would be legally nullified by December 11 this year, sources said that a plausible Drahi move to increase his BT Group stake could take place well in line with a potential exit of Altice from Portugal.