Israeli-French businessman Patrick Drahi has bought a 12.1% stake in UK telecom giant British Telecom (BT). The deal was completed by Drahi's company Altice UK with no financial details disclosed about the amount paid for the shares, although according to BT's closing share price yesterday the 12.1% stake would be worth $3.1 billion.
Patrick Drahi is the controlling shareholder in Altice, which is the parent company of Israeli telecom Hot Telecommunications. In addition to Israel, Altice, which is considered one of the world's leading telecom groups, also has major operations in France, Portugal, the US and other countries.
Drahi said that he has no plans to try and take control of BT and intends cooperating with the company and that he expressed full confidence in the company's current management and its plans to expand fiber-optic deployment.
It remains to be seen whether Drahi pursues the same strategy with BT as he did with Hot. He first entered the Israeli market by buying a small stake in Hot from Bank Leumi and then began gradually increasing his holdings until he eventually achieved control of the company.
BT is one of the world's biggest telecom companies and some market sources believe it is only a matter of time until he increases his stake in the company.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 10, 2021
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