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A billionaire buying bits of BT needn’t ring alarm bells | Nils Pratley

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June 10, 2021 at 02:46PM

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Move for 12% stake by Altice’s Patrick Drahi could be a good thing, though only time will tell

A vote of confidence in the company? That’s always a board’s default spin on events when a billionaire buys a large stake, purrs politely about management but is slightly mysterious about his long-term intentions. The pitch is rarely convincing because billionaires are not generally the type to sit back and simply collect a stream of dividends. They tend to want something.

It’s too soon to be confident about the motives behind Patrick Drahi of Altice’s purchase of a 12.1% stake in BT, worth £2bn. But, on this occasion, the non-threatening interpretation may be correct. Or, at least, it looks the most likely line for a while.

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