FT to divest directory division

7 Jun 2006

The board of France Telecom (FT) has approved a management proposal to ‘prepare a partial or full divestiture’ of the 62% stake held by FT in the directory business PagesJaunes. In a statement FT said that the unit’s activities were not core to its long-term plan and therefore retaining its interest in the company was unnecessary. Investors have responded well to the move; FT’s shares rose 1.3% in early trading after the statement was released. The news comes days after the French telco admitted that it is looking to acquire telecoms companies in Northern Africa. The proposed sale of PagesJaunes – valued at USD4.5 billion – could be seen as one way to raise additional capital for future purchases.