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Government allows Drahi to keep 18pc stake in BT

Megan Robinson
August 23, 2022

Drahi is now the biggest shareholder in BT with nearly one fifth of the stake

The UK government has decided not to block Billionaire Patrick Drahi’s stake in BT following an investigation which ruled that the deal did not pose a national security threat.

Drahi bought 12.1 per cent of BT last year, but his investment group Altice increased this to 18pc in December 2021.

In May, it was reported that Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng opened an investigation into the investment under the recent National Security and Investment Act. 

The act allows ministers to scrutinise and possibly intervene in acquisitions if it is believed it could pose a threat to national security.

Drahi’s investment group Altice has taken an 18pc stake in BT

This isn’t the first time the government has stepped in to potentially block a deal, Mobile News also reported on the rejected Truphone sale in July.

BT commented: “BT Group has now been notified by the Secretary of State that no further action is to be taken under the Act in relation to the increase by Altice Europe NV of its shareholding in BT Group from 12.1% to 18%.” 

It is not yet known if Drahi wants to make further investment into BT.

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