Orange needs invite from Bollore to look into Telecom Italia tie-up

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 08, 2016 8:06 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - Orange Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard said he would look into the possibility of merging with Telecom Italia if French billionaire Vincent Bollore invited him to.

Bollore chairs the supervisory board of French media group Vivendi, which has gradually built up a 23.8 percent stake in Telecom Italia to become the top shareholder in the former state phone monopoly.

"If one day Mr. Bollore tells me: the best thing would be to make a deal between us and make Orange buy Telecom Italia, then we'll see," Richard said on the sidelines of a corporate event held in Cairo.

"I don't think it's in his intentions," Richard said, adding that he met Bollore regularly.

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain)