French-Israeli Billionaire Patrick Drahi buys 12% stake in BT

Altice UK, founded by billionaire Patrick Drahi, aims to capitalise on BT’s rollout of fibre broadband across Britain.

Patrick Drahi, founder of the European-based telecom group Altice, has bought a 12.1% stake in telecommunications company BT, worth approximately £2.2 billion. Altice is now BT’s largest shareholder after the purchase of 1.2 billion shares by recently-formed Altice UK. BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley handled the share purchases.

Drahi, who has a net worth of $12.3 billion, also has a similar stake in German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom. He was born in Morocco to a Jewish family and later moved to France at the age of 15. He went on to complete an engineering degree at École Polytechnique in Paris, then a post-graduate degree in optics and electronics before moving on to door-to-door sales in cable TV packages. Over the years, Drahi worked hard to build his empire, selling his business to John C. Malone’s UPC. In 2001, Drahi founded Altice, which quickly began to buy up cable companies across Europe.

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