Patrick Drahi ups BT stake to 25%

Patrick Drahi

Patrick Drahi

French telecoms tycoon Patrick Drahi, owner of Altice, has upped his stake in BT to almost 25%.

Drahi’s Altice UK vehicle lifted its share of the UK telco from 18% to 24.5%, or by about £960 million, according to reports.

Altice UK has said it doesn’t plan to make an offer for BT and Drahi does not intend to take a seat on the BT board. However, the outfit reserved the right to reconsider if a third party made an offer for the telco.

Last year, when Drahi took an additional 5.9% stake in the telco on top of its existing 12% stake, the UK government mulled taking action to prevent BT being acquired b a foreign party, but ultimately decided not to act.

The Department for Trade and Industry reserved the right to take action if Altice upped its stake any further. Two years ago the government gave itself powers to scrutinise and potentially intervene in market acquisitions on national security grounds under the new National Security and Investment Act.

Last week BT reported a drop in profits of 12% for the year to April and announced plans to cut up to 55,000 jobs by 2030, helped by the potential to replace some workers with AI solutions.

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