The boards of both companies met separately yesterday to discuss progress, and both issued statements saying no deal had been reached.
The two companies previously set a 31 March deadline for reaching a conclusion, but are now willing to give it longer.
“Therefore, it [the board] will meet before the end of the weekend in order to make a final decision whether to pursue the merger plan or not,” said Bouygues, indicating how the crunch date has been postponed.
“The Board acknowledged that the negotiations were not yet sufficiently advanced,” said an Orange statement about yesterday’s discussion.
The two companies face a number of sticking points in reaching a conclusion, according to reports. These include how much Orange will pay for its smaller rival, as well as how big a stake Bouygues would hold post-deal in the acquirer, and its level of board representation.
A further complicating factor is the companies’ commitment to sell on certain assets of Bouygues Telecom to rivals, in order to satisfy regulators.