France’s top wireless firm Orange is reportedly in discussions to strike a merger with Bouygues Telecom, a deal that threatens to shakeup the industry that has already faced several overhauls in recent months.
According to France’s economy minister, Orange is looking at a possible acquisition of its rival, the third-place wireless operator in France. Reports say a buyout would value Bouygues at $8.2 billion.
The news also marks Orange’s possible entry into the latest wave of industry shakeup deals. A bidding war had previously emerged for SFR between Numericable and Bouygues; Numericable won the deal. Since, Bouygues has reportedly been eyeing other possible merger deals in the industry.
Numericable/Virgin Mobile deal
Reports of a possible Orange deal came the same day Carphone Warehouse announced it would sell Virgin Mobile’s France operations to Numericable.
The sale, already approved by Carphone Warehouse shareholders, would be worth about $445 million, according to reports.
Carphone Warehouse is Europe’s largest independent phone retailer and holds a 46 percent stake in Virgin Mobile’s France operations.
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