December 4, 2019 / 7:22 AM / 3 days ago

Orange CEO wants French state to remain as a controlling shareholder

FILE PHOTO: Orange chief executive Stephane Richard reacts after being acquitted of any wrongdoing in a fraud trial, clearing the way for him to remain at the helm of the country's biggest telecom operator in Paris, France, July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - The French state should remain a controlling shareholder of telecoms operator Orange (ORAN.PA), said company chief executive Stephane Richard on Wednesday.

The French state owns a controlling 23 percent stake in the telecom operator and remains a king-maker at the former monopoly.

“I don’t want to see the state withdraw,” Richard told reporters during a call on the group’s new five-year strategic plan.

“It’s an element of stability and of strategic support for the company,” he added.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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