Orange board could make MasMovil counterbid, says El Economista

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French telecoms operator Orange is pictured on a closed retail store in Paris, France, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

MADRID (Reuters) - The board of French telecoms giant Orange ORAN.PA could discuss a possible counterbid for Spanish rival MasMovil MSM.MC this week, El Economista newspaper reported on Thursday, citing unidentified industry sources.

The Orange board could meet as early as Thursday, the newspaper said, after an alliance of buyout funds KKR KKR.N, Cinven and Providence this week said they had made a 2.96 billion euro ($3.3 billion) offer backed by the Spanish company's board.

A spokesman for Orange did not reply immediately to a Reuters request for comment.

Since the announcement on Monday, MasMovil shares have traded above the 22.50 euros the funds offered, suggesting that investors expect higher rival bids or an increased offer from the the private equity trio.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by David Goodman