FT on the acquisition trail; CEO hints at Asian expansion

22 May 2007

France Télécom (FT) chief executive officer Didier Lombard yesterday told company shareholders at a meeting in Paris that he plans to explore the possibility of expansion through acquisitions and is looking at potential investments in Asia. Lombard says the purchases will be designed either to boost FT’s presence in mature markets or to give it a foothold in emerging ones. He did not elaborate on specific targets, but did say the operator was looking at a number of investment opportunities in Asia.

In a separate story, French newspaper Les Echos says that six unions representing FT workers plan to strike on 31 May to protest against cutbacks in incentives for workers to take early retirement. AFX News says the incentives are part of the incumbent’s effort to reduce its workforce by 22,000 people between 2006 and 2008. The new incentives replace those offered through the end of last year.

France, Orange Group