Orange eyes tie-up with French mobile rival
Orange is in early talks about buying Bouygues' phone and TV businesses, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would reduce the number of wireless carriers in France and follow in rivals' footsteps of bringing telecommunications and media together.
A tie-up with its domestic rival is among several possibilities the French carrier is considering, said the people, asking not to be named discussing private deliberations.
In a potential deal, Bouygues would carve out its construction unit and retain a minority stake in the combined media and telecom business, according to three of the people. No formal offer or decision has been made and the companies are weighing how they could overcome significant antitrust and regulatory hurdles, they said.
A deal would combine Orange, France's biggest mobile and fixed carrier, with Bouygues Telecom, which has been fighting off Iliad SA to keep its third spot in the mobile market. (Bloomberg)