NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF THAT JURISDICTION.
THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS AN ANNOUNCEMENT FALLING UNDER RULE 2.8 OF THE CITY CODE ON TAKEOVERS AND MERGERS (THE "CODE").
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 June 2021
Altice UK S.à r.l ("Altice UK")
Statement regarding BT Group plc ("BT" or "the Company")
Altice UK - a company established and wholly owned by Patrick Drahi - announces today that it has acquired 1,200,000,000 shares in BT, representing 12.1% of BT's issued share capital.
Altice holds the Board and Management team of BT in high regard and is supportive of their strategy. Altice UK has informed the BT Board that it does not intend to make a takeover offer for BT and will be bound by that statement for the purposes of Rule 2.8 of the UK's Takeover Code.
Altice UK has made this significant investment in BT as it believes that it has a compelling opportunity to deliver one of the UK Government's most important policies, namely the substantial expansion of access to a full-fibre, gigabit-capable broadband network throughout the UK. Altice believes that the UK provides a sound environment for substantial long-term investment. This is supported by the current regulatory framework which offers BT the appropriate incentives to make the necessary investments.
Altice has established itself as one of the leading independent owners and operators of telecom and broadband networks internationally. Altice has built and developed significant networks in the US, France, Portugal and Israel, combining strong engineering capabilities with efficient operations, delivering high levels of innovation and service to its customers.
Altice UK has been established for the purpose of holding the shares in BT. It is separate from the other Altice companies but benefits from the deep and broad expertise and experience across the group.
Patrick Drahi said:
"BT has a significant opportunity to upgrade and extend its full-fibre broadband network to bring substantial benefits to millions of households across the UK. We fully support the management's strategy to deliver on this opportunity.
We understand that the expansion of the broadband network is one of the UK Government's most important policy objectives and a core part of its levelling up agenda.
Altice has a long and highly successful record of effectively operating national fibre and mobile networks in a number of countries, serving over 40 million customers.
Our approach is to combine high levels of technical expertise, resilience and operating efficiency with a strong focus on innovation and customer service. Altice has brought an entrepreneurial culture, energy and effectiveness to building its networks and operations."
Rule 2.8 statement
Altice UK confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for BT. This is a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Takeover Code (the "Code") applies. Under Note 2 on Rule 2.8 of the Code, Altice UK reserves the right to set the restrictions in Rule 2.8 aside in any of the following circumstances:
a) with the agreement of the board of BT;
b) if a third party announces a firm intention to make an offer for BT;
c) if BT announces a "whitewash" proposal (see Note 1 of the Notes on Dispensations from Rule 9) or a reverse takeover (as defined in the Code); or
d) if there has been a material change of circumstances (as determined by the Takeover Panel).
Tulchan Communications / AlticeUK@tulchangroup.com / +44 (0) 20 7353 4200