In a setback for French consolidation hopes, Iliad founder Xavier Niel denied any interest in purchasing rival Bouygues Telecom, according to a local media report.
“We are not buyers,” said Niel (pictured) during an interview with BFM radio. “The market’s consolidation cannot happen without us so there will be no consolidation,” he added.
Having recently called a halt to its bid for T-Mobile US, there was speculation that Iliad might shift attention homewards, but Niel’s comments seem to put a dampener on any such thoughts.
Having previously held merger talks (both failed) with rivals SFR and Orange, it was thought earlier this year that Bouygues might finally find a match in Iliad. But instead the low-cost operator promptly announced its surprising US bid.
Subsequently, Bouygues has pushed ahead with its own plans in the absence of any takeover offers, which involve staff redundancies and a focus on pushing 4G to its subscribers.