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10 Things You Didn't Know about Patrick Drahi

Patrick Drahi is an Israeli- French billionaire who acquired a majority of his fortune through his French telecommunications business company with services in many countries. He is one of the “quiet” wealthiest men as he does not like to draw a lot of attention to himself. Here are other details you may not be aware of the self -made billionaire:

  1. The billionaire was born in Morocco on August 24th, 1963 to a Moroccan Jewish family and has Israeli, French and Portuguese citizenships. Drahi, however, resides in Geneva, Switzerland.
  2. Both his parents are maths teachers. The family moved to Montpellier in France when he was 15 years old. Patrick attended Ecole Polytechnique to study an engineering degree. He also holds a post-graduate degree in optics and electronics. He is married and has four children with his Syrian Greek Orthodox wife.
  3. Drahi has been building his wealth quietly and for a very long time. His beginnings were quite humble as he took up door-to-door sales of cable packages. Not many people knew him until he became the second largest provider of internet and phone services after obtaining SFR from Vivendi.
  4. Patrick founded i24news an international news channel in 2013. It is based in Israel and broadcasts in Arabic, French, and English. In the same year, he owned Numericable, the French cable operator. He also purchased France’s second internet and mobile phone provider SFR later on.
  5. In addition to being the founder of Altice, the self-made billionaire is also a controlling shareholder with over 60% of the shares. The company is a multi-billion dollar telecom group based in the Netherlands and listed on the stock exchange in Amsterdam. In 2016, he earned over 500 million euros from a public offering in 2014 and $23 billion as revenue. The company offers pay-TV services and broadband in many countries like:
  • Dominican Republic
  • Indian Ocean Area
  • France
  • French West Indies
  • Belgium
  • Israel
  • Portugal
  • Luxembourg
  • Switzerland

The company is currently the 6th largest France media company. It is also home to Altice Media Group that acquired L’Express and L’Expansion as well as A Nous free entertainment weekly. Electronic titles, culture, and cinema were part of the acquisitions.

During the early years, his used elegant and straightforward business strategies to grow his entity. His firm would approach mobile operators that were almost losing down and running on loses. It bought them at reasonable prices. He managed to obtain lagging mobile and cable operators from companies in countries like Dominican Republic, France, Portugal, Belgium, and Israel.His ruthless nature in the business saw him transform the companies into successful entities.

In 2015, the company managed to penetrate the American telecommunications market after Altice bought 70% stake in Suddenlink Communications which was valued at $9.1 billion. At the time, it was the 7th largest cable company in the United States. In the same year, Drahi also purchased Cablevision that the Dolan Family owned. He changed its name to Altice USA. He is also a shareholder of the offshore company.

  1. Forbes estimates that Patrick’s net worth was at $10.3 billion as of 2015 November. At the time he was the 60th wealthiest man in the globe and the third in France. Recent rankings put him at number 58 with $15 billion. Before 2016, Patrick was the wealthiest man in Israel until he dropped one position down.
  2. He is known to be an astute thinker and an excellent orator. Drahi confirms that he still has plans of procuring many more telecom industries in the future. Many folks in the industry and Wall Street who personally know him or follow his work describe him as an aggressive and bold dealmaker who has a reputation for being an insistent cost-cutter. It is one of the traits that attract a lot of controversy around his business life despite his efforts of not seeking attention.
  3. Patrick has a public rivalry with Xavier Niel who is his former friend and head French telecom companies Monaco and Iliad Telecom. The two usually dined together in the past but Neil reportedly does not speak to Drahi anymore. It was after an unfavorable article about him an in an Israeli newspaper that Patrick’s relative owns. Xavier argued that Drahi contributed to the story.
  4. He tries to avoid the limelight as much as possible. Patrick Drahi tries to maintain a low profile, and he does not even attend social events. It, however, has not kept him from becoming a media personality in France.
  5. The self-made billionaire spends a lot of his time in his homes in Genera, Tel Aviv, and Paris. Patrick is a frequent subject of government and public criticism for residing and keeping a majority of his businesses overseas.

There was a time he wanted to Purchase Virgin Mobile in France. Fleur Pellerin, the minister of digital economy at the time, requested that he repatriate to France. Drahi declined politely saying that he preferred to have his primary home in Geneva.

Altice perfectly mirror’s Patrick’s lifestyle. While it is widely known for business in France, its stock is listed on the Amsterdam exchange. His holding company is in Guernsey which is an island tax heaven lacking the reporting requirements present in many places.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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