Bouygues Telecom and Iliad to merge?

The French telecoms market could be set for further consolidation after it emerged that Iliad and Bouygues Telecom are reportedly looking into a merger.

Vivendi opted to sell its SFR business to Numericable yesterday, in preference to a rivalling bid from Bouygues, with the companies agreeing a €17 billion deal following a bidding war last month.

The tie-up gives the combined companies additional weight in the battle to secure market share against industry-leader Orange.

According to local reports, France’s third-largest operator Bouygues is looking to secure €8 billion if it makes the sale, while Iliad values the company at €5 billion.

Iliad – which operates Free Mobile – has significantly shaken up the French telecoms market, after launching cut-price mobile tariffs for consumers and instigating a price war with the other players.

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