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French billionaire's stake in BT was investigated under Britain's strict security law

French billionaires stake in BT was investigated

May 27, 2022: -On Thursday, the U.K. launched an investigatory into two major technology deals under the recent National Security and Investment Act as it moves to look after its most prized technology assets from foreign takeovers. To shareholders, BT announced that U.K.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is “calling in” its deal with Altice, owned by telecom magnate Patrick Drahi. BT said it is planning to “fully cooperate” with the review.

In December, the deal would see the French multinational make its shareholding of BT Group from 12.1% to 18%.

BT’s share price came down more than 4% in the morning, trading on London Stock Exchange Thursday.

The National Security and Investment Act came into force on Jan 4. It allows the U.K. government to scrutinize and intervene in business deals that can threaten national security.

Tracing its origins back to founding the world’s first public telegraph company in 1846, BT is a British icon. The firm was previously state-owned but was very private by the 20th century.

Recently, it wanted to convince investors of its vision to upgrade national network infrastructure and become a key player in the upcoming generation 5G mobile internet. The stock has swooped 42% in the previous five years.

Drahi founded Altice in 2001. According to Forbes, a prolific dealmaker, he made a name for himself by snapping up a slew of cable and mobile companies in Europe and the U.S. He has a net worth of $6.6 billion. The billionaire entrepreneur was born in Morocco but emigrated to France as a teenager.

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