Billionaire’s Altice buys 12% BT stake to support fibre plan

Altice UK informs BT board that it does not intend to make takeover offer for company

Patrick Drahi also controls SFR, the second largest telecoms operator in France behind Orange: File photograph: Getty

Patrick Drahi also controls SFR, the second largest telecoms operator in France behind Orange: File photograph: Getty

 

Telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi has bought a 12.1 per cent stake worth about £2.2 billion (€2.55 billion) in BT Group, backing its ambition to build a nationwide fibre broadband network.

Mr Drahi’s newly created vehicle Altice UK announced the holding in a statement on Thursday which drove BT’s shares to a 17-month high. They were trading up 6.5 per cent at 195.15 pence towards the close of the trading session.

Altice UK is owned by Next Alt, deal maker Mr Drahi’s private holding, which also controls SFR, the second largest telecoms operator in France behind Orange.

“Altice UK has informed the BT board that it does not intend to make a takeover offer for BT,” the company said.

BT, Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile operator, is recasting itself as the British national champion to upgrade the country’s broadband network which lags other markets such as Spain. – Reuters

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