Orange CEO says Bouygues merger would have to create value

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 12, 2016 4:33 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - Orange Chief Executive Stephane Richard said on Tuesday that a merger with rival French telecoms operator Bouygues would have to create value for the company and safeguard jobs in the sector.

Orange is in talks to buy Bouygues Telecom for about 10 billion euros ($10.9 billion) in cash and shares, in a deal which could see Bouygues receive a 15 percent stake in Orange valued at 8 billion, and the rest in cash.

The tie-up would reduce the number of mobile operators in France from four to three, creating a new giant with a market share close to 50 percent market share in mobile and fixed-line communications.

"The merger must create value for Orange and boost investments in the French telecoms sector," Richard told journalists at a news conference in Paris.

(Reporting by Bate Felix and Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Laurence Frost)