Orange is looking to Spain as its main market for acquisition targets, while making further forays into the US as part of its Horizons initiative to diversify into new business areas.
Speaking to Reuters at a conference, Orange CEO Stephane Richard said Belgium, Poland and Romania were other markets where the group might look to make acquisitions, but Spain is the country on which it will focus most of its attention.
Orange is reportedly stepping up its presence in the US this week with an e-commerce website through which it will sell smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, such as smart watches and smart bands.
According to The Wall Street Journal, it will also sell SIM cards that work on its French network, which tourists can use when holidaying in its home market without being subject to roaming charges.
The website will be managed by starMedia, Orange’s South American online subsidiary, which provides Spanish language news and entertainment. An online store in Mexico is also being launched, according to the reports.
The ecommerce site is part of the Orange Horizons initiative which was established in January 2013 to diversify the company’s business beyond its largely European and African base where growth has slowed in recent years.
The French market in particular has seen a price war since the arrival of low-cost newcomer Free Mobile at the beginning of 2012.
Horizons is intended to spread the Orange brand globally and provide foundations for future expansion. It has already been active in 25 countries, including Germany, Italy and South Africa.
The initiative could also provide the means for Orange to offer services as an MVNO, Sebastien Crozier, who runs the Orange expansion effort, told The Wall Street Journal.
Orange offers telecoms services to US businesses via its enterprise division but this doesn’t contribute significantly to the group’s results.
Back in its home market, Orange has not completely ruled out bidding for French operator rival Bouygues Telecom, according to its CEO, despite appearing to do so last week.
Richard told Reuters that if someone was to approach Orange to put together an offer that would satisfy Bouygues, “then of course, we will look into it”.