BT Group’s (BT.A) stock falls sharply as Altice increases stake
By Rob Griffin
11:26, 14 December 2021
BT Group’s stock price plummeted today after Altice UK increased its ownership of the UK telecommunications giant but said it didn’t intend to make an offer.
Altice, the telecoms investment group owned by French-Moroccan businessman Patrick Drahi, now has an 18% stake in BT after buying a further 585,476,188 shares.
But in a statement, it “restated its position” to the Board of BT that it doesn’t intend to make an offer for the company.
Spiralling stock price
The news sent BT’s stock price spiralling down 7% to 162.49p by late morning on the London markets.
BT Group also issued a statement to say it had been notified of Altice increasing its stake in the business from 12.1% to 18%.
“The Board and management of BT Group will continue to operate the business in the interest of all shareholders and remains focused on the successful execution of its strategy and building on recent performance momentum,” it stated.
What is your sentiment on BT.A?
Held in high regard
In a statement, Drahi said he was pleased to have increased the company’s shareholding in BT.
“Over recent months we have engaged constructively with the Board and Management of BT and look forward to continuing that dialogue,” he stated.
Drahi also outlined his views on BT’s business.
“We continue to hold them in high regard and remain fully supportive of their strategy, principally to play the pivotal role in delivering the expansion of access to a full fibre broadband network; an investment programme which is so important to both BT and to the UK,” he said.
Investment director at AJ Bell Russ Mould said news that Altice had boosted its stake in BT seemed to have “provoked consternation” in the market with shares slumping.
“This is potentially amid some disappointment that a full bid doesn’t look to be forthcoming, at least in the short-term,” he added.