European telecoms heavyweight France Télécom (FT) has offered EUR566 million (USD680 million) for Telindus of Belgium to shore up its network services arm, topping an earlier bid by Belgian incumbent Belgacom. FT offered a cash price of EUR15.80 for each Telindus share, 7.6% higher than the company’s closing share price yesterday, outbidding the Belgian telco’s offer of EUR13.50 per share. Earlier this year FT said it was looking to expand its network services portfolio to reduce its reliance on its network hosting unit Equant, where prices are falling as customers switch to cheaper internet-based connections. Telindus achieved a turnover of EUR532 million in 2004, 35% of which was derived from network services and 65% from network products. It is present in 14 countries including Hungary, Israel, China and Thailand.