This week, the French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi will make a rare appearance in front of investors. This comes at a time when his international company, Altice, is in the midst of a corruption investigation.Drahi, whose empire extends to telecommunications and media in Europe, Israel, and North America, should try to allay the concerns of investors a few weeks after the arrest of one of his most important lieutenants in Portugal. Drahi’s headquarters are in Switzerland, and its reach spans Europe, Israel, and North America.
The Portuguese authorities have charged the billionaire businessman Armando Pereira with 11 counts of bribery and money laundering. The primary allegation against him is that he established a network of fake suppliers in order to divert money through the Altice market pass-through system.
M. Pereira denies these allegations, but the issue has spread beyond Portugal to other parts of M. Drahi’s empire, including the United States and France, where individuals in high-ranking positions have been disciplined, suspended, or asked to resign as a result of the allegations.
According to the French edition of the business magazine Challenge, Drahi, who is known for maintaining a low profile, has amassed a wealth that is estimated to be worth more than 10 billion dollars. This places him in the position of the thirteenth richest man in France.
It has built a network of companies via strategic mergers and acquisitions, and it is now a major player in the telecommunications industry in many countries, including France, Israel, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Switzerland.
Drahi, who is known for being an art enthusiast and who just purchased the auction house Sotheby’s in 2019, also owns the high-speed internet provider Altice USA and a portion of the British telecommunications company BT. Drahi also owns a portion of the British company BT.
However, in order for it to be able to invest so rapidly, it had to build up a debt that was worth something in the neighborhood of sixty billion dollars. This made it feasible for them to invest so quickly.
Investors will be paying close attention to any appeals made by Drahi to investors on Monday and Tuesday because of the recent rise in interest rates and the corruption issue that has been reported in at least one of the major newspapers.
Questions of the utmost importance
The company made statements indicating that it was cooperating with the authorities and highlighting the fact that certain employees had been suspended.
M. Pereira is not now employed by the company in any official capacity, despite the fact that he is widely regarded as being M. Drahi’s right hand.