Martin Bouygues, CEO of Bouygues Telecom, has reportedly met with French president Francois Hollande in a bid to reassure the government over the impact of a potential merger with Vivendi’s telecoms unit SFR. According to French newspaper Journal du Dimanche (JDD), concerns have been raised relating to the mooted merger’s impact on unemployment. According to the article, Bouygues plans to make an offer for SFR – which will top the EUR11 billion (USD15.2 billion) cash bid lodged by domestic broadband operator Numericable – within the next ten days.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last week Bouygues Telecom hired investment banks HSBC and Rothschild to advise it on a potential tie-up with larger rival SFR. However, people familiar with the matter pointed out that a merger between the second and third largest players in the market will likely attract the scrutiny of the telecoms regulator, the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep), unlike a potential tie-up between SFR and Numericable.