Drahi’s First Public Statement on the Scandal

Patrick Drahi, billionaire founder and controlling shareholder of Altice International, has publicly addressed the corruption allegations surrounding the company’s Portuguese operations. During a Q2 2023 call with debt investors, Drahi conveyed his shock and disappointment, stating he would feel “betrayed and deceived” if the allegations are confirmed.

Altice’s Immediate Actions and Internal Investigation

In response to these allegations, which focus on procurement activities within Altice Portugal, the company has initiated internal investigations and implemented protective measures. Drahi emphasized Altice International’s commitment to thoroughly understanding and addressing the issue.

The Scope of the Allegations

Although the investigation currently centers on the company’s operations in Portugal, Drahi revealed that other entities beyond Portugal have interacted with the suppliers involved in the allegations. He clarified that the suspected corruption represents only a minor portion of Altice’s global purchasing, primarily in technical procurement.

Suspension of Key Personnel

As part of the company’s response, several employees have been suspended, including co-founder Armando Pereira, who is currently under house arrest. Altice USA has also taken similar actions, appointing a new chief procurement officer.

Financial Stability and Reputation Concerns

Drahi assured investors that the ongoing investigation would not affect Altice International’s financial health or future projections. He expressed confidence in the company’s internal controls and management, while acknowledging the damage to its reputation. Drahi remarked on the distress caused by seeing the word ‘corruption’ associated with Altice and his name.

Upcoming Investor Meetings for Transparency

To address investor concerns and provide more information, Drahi and the Altice International management team plan to host investor meetings in London and New York in September. These sessions aim to discuss the steps being taken to address the situation and restore stakeholder confidence.