Altice – the French telecoms outfit that operates fibre and mobile networks serving more than 40 million punters in the US, France, Portugal and Israel – has bought a £2bn chunk of BT, it announced today.

Today’s move means that Altice UK, a company set up for the acquisition, now holds 12.1 per cent of Britain’s former state-owned monopoly.

Execs at Altice – itself owned by French telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi – were quick to try to calm any jitters, insisting it has “informed the BT Board that it does not intend to make a takeover offer for BT”.

Instead, Altice claimed it holds the board and management team at BT “in high regard and is supportive of their strategy.” A sentiment perhaps not shared by everyone in BT’s workforce.

Read more…