FT approaches banks for EUR10bn loan prompting fresh rumours of a possible TeliaSonera bid

30 May 2008

France Telecom (FT) has reportedly approached a number of banks to secure a EUR10 billion (USD15.6 billion) loan facility to pay for an ‘unspecified acquisition’, Reuters reports. The move, leaked by unnamed banking sources, has sparked fresh rumours that the French telco could use the money to help launch a bid for Nordic telecoms heavyweight TeliaSonera. Last month, FT’s head of finance Gervais Pellissier confirmed that the company was in the early stages of examining the possibility of a merger with the Swedish telecoms group, but was also looking at other multi-national players, including Norway’s Telenor, in an attempt to expand its emerging markets and mobile broadband businesses. In the wake of the latest development, TeliaSonera said it would evaluate any bid that came but declined further comment. FT is also remaining tight-lipped on whether a bid is in the offing.

France, Sweden, Orange Group, Telia Company