Patrick Drahi’s Altice increased its holding from 12.1% to 18% in December last year.
26 May 2022
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has told BT that the Government will examine French billionaire Patrick Drahi’s increased 18% stake in the company over national security concerns.
Altice, the telecoms company’s biggest shareholder, increased its stake from 12.1% to 18% in December last year, increasing fears that the business could be ripe for a takeover.
The Government will now seek to examine the move using “call-in powers” under the new National Security and Investment Act.
Mr Kwarteng will have the power to either clear the move or, “if necessary and proportionate”, impose certain conditions on the investment or block it completely.
“BT Group will fully co-operate with this review,” the company said in a statement.
On announcing his investment last year, Mr Drahi said he had no plans to take the business private, as he snapped up a further 585 million shares to increase his stake.
The Government said it was “monitoring” the investment at the time.