This morning, Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, held a press conference. The opportunity for him to present his wishes for 2016, and of course to discuss reconciliation between his company and Bouygues Telecom.
Since the revelation of Bloomberg in December, quickly drowned out by Bouygues Telecom, rumors among the possible merger of Bouygues Telecom and Orange are constantly ringing. It was only in the beginning of the year that the two operators have deigned to confirm their preliminary discussions. On the occasion of a press conference this morning, Stéphane Richard wished to clarify some points.
A reconciliation beneficial for all
Stéphane Richard reiterated his wishes regarding the proper conduct of this marriage and hope that it can be beneficial for everyone from executives of the two firms to consumers through employees. If “this is Martin Bouygues, which has initiated discussions”, the number of Orange sets conditions. It seeks above all the best for his company and says he “would not engage in Orange too risky.” Also, the creation of value for Orange seems an inalienable item.
However, he understands the issues it represents at all levels and wants this reconciliation to be “socially irreproachable.” Finally, he recalled that the decrease in ticket prices “50% in three years” is “acquired” and that “consumers will suffer in no way from the rise in prices in case of reconciliation.”
Moreover, the benefit subscribers, Stéphane Richard, this approximation by a qualitative increase in the network. And clarify that “one of the interests of a return to the three operators would be that we could tackle the problem faster resorption white or gray areas.”
A matter of weeks
Orange hopes to reach an agreement with Bouygues Telecom in “a few weeks”. There is talk of a transaction of 10 billion euros, including 8 in shares. Contrary to some rumors, however, it would not matter to encompass all or part of TF1 during the marriage. Anyway, such a reconciliation will certainly closely examined by the competent authorities. It will still wait a few days to see if it is the French Competition Authority or the European Commission.