UK clears Altice BT stake increase after security probe - Mobile World Live

UK clears Altice BT stake increase after security probe

23 AUG 2022

The UK government decided against taking action on Altice UK increasing its stake in operator BT Group to 18 per cent, following a national security review into the move.

In a statement, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy explained it had sent a final notification informing both parties it would take no further action on the buy.

But it noted it would “always act to protect the UK’s critical national telecoms infrastructure if we judge action is necessary”, adding transactions such as these are dealt with on a case-by-case basis so any future ones could be subject to separate assessment.

The UK opened the investigation in May, five months after Altice UK bought 6 per cent of BT to add to the 12.1 per cent it already owned.

Altice UK is owned by French billionaire Patrick Drahi, who founded French operator SFR’s parent company Altice Europe and owns a wide range of other business assets.

Since news of the company’s BT stake broke speculation on the possibility of a full takeover bid have been rife.

However, in every announcement made regarding its growing stake Altice has reiterated it does not intend to make a full offer for the company with Drahi backing the board and current strategy of the UK operator.



Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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