July 5, 2018 / 7:29 AM / 4 months ago

Bouygues ready to seize M&A opportunities in French telecoms - deputy CEO

PARIS (Reuters) - French conglomerate Bouygues (BOUY.PA) is ready seize opportunities to beef up its telecoms business through mergers and acquisitions, its deputy chief executive said on Thursday.

Speculation about potential mergers within the French telecoms sectors have resurfaced since April, as a price war piles pressure on the country’s main operators Orange (ORAN.PA), Bouygues Telecom, Altice Europe (ATCA.AS) and Iliad (ILD.PA).

“The group... has always said that if an opportunity arose, then it would position itself,” Bouygues’ deputy CEO Olivier Roussat told France’s Radio Classique.

Altice Europe’s French unit SFR was approached last month by Bouygues, two sources close to the matter have told Reuters, confirming earlier reports by French newspaper Le Monde.

“For the market to consolidate, there needs to be a seller,” Roussat added, referring to comments in recent days by SFR executives who said the telecoms group was not up for sale.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gilles Guillaume, Editing by Sarah White

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