Bouygues Telecom is pushing ahead with its own plans and has not received any takeover offers, said the French operator’s parent in the wake of possible merger partner Iliad’s surprise move for T-Mobile US at the end of last week.
The statement said Bouygues Telecom will continue with a new strategy announced in June, unveiled in response to the fierce competition in the French market.
“In addition, the group has not received to date any takeover bids for its subsidiary,” said the statement.
Bouygues does not explicitly refer to Iliad in its statement but the implication is clear. Its likeliest merger partner appears to be distracted by an ambitious bid in the US, so reducing the chances of a domestic deal.
Earlier this year Bouygues made an audacious bid for rival SFR but was disappointed when French cable operator Numericable was chosen instead. It also had unsuccessful talks with Orange, leaving Iliad as its most plausible suitor.
French operators have been eyeing consolidation as a means to lessen the impact of a fraught price war that has hurt balance sheets.
Bouygues’s transformation plan in June involves cuts to 15 per cent of its workforce, as well as a focus on pushing 4G to its subscribers.
Bouygues said it issued the statement in response to recent press coverage.
Last Friday Iliad unveiled a surprise $15 billion cash offer for a majority stake in T-Mobile US.