France Télécom in a hurry to offload directories business

12 Jun 2006

France Télécom (FT) is rushing to sell its EUR3.4 billion (USD4.35 billion) stake in Pages Jaunes as soon as possible, as competition intensifies in the domestic directories market. The company’s plan to sell off its 54% stake was announced even before it had had chance to appoint Merrill Lynch and investment bank Toulouse et Associés to handle the sale. The decision marks a major change for FT, which hung on to Pages Jaunes to benefit from its profitability and cash flow long after rivals had divested their own directories businesses. In 2005 it earned EUR263 million from Pages Jaunes, which helped mask the slowdown in its French wireline business.

France, Orange Group