Martin Bouygues, CEO of French conglomerate Bouygues, has reiterated his plans to remain a ‘significant shareholder’ in the enlarged Orange Group, if Orange’s takeover bid for the third largest French operator by subscribers goes through. La Tribune reports that the executive is aiming to obtain a 15% stake in the merged operator, though such holding would not be favoured by Orange’s current major shareholder, the French State, which is planning to retain at least 20% of the newly formed company’s capital. The government currently holds a 23% stake in Orange Group (a 13.45% direct share and a 9.60% stake held via public investment group Bpifrance Participations).
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in January 2016 Orange and Bouygues entered into a confidentiality agreement, which marked the beginning of official negotiations in regards to Orange’s acquisition of its smaller rival; the deal is valuing Bouygues at roughly EUR10 billion (USD10.9 billion). Earlier this month Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard revealed that the negotiations between the two sides are expected to last until early March.