French conglomerate Bouygues Group has rebuffed what it termed ‘recent statements in the press’ regarding the possible sale of its telecoms unit, confirming that no takeover bids have been forthcoming. According to a press release, Bouygues Telecom, France’s third largest telco in terms of subscribers, ‘is continuing the implementation of its transformation plan announced on 11 June 2014 aimed at securing an independent future’. The move comes days after former suitor Iliad (Free) revealed a surprise USD15 billion takeover bid for US-based T-Mobile US.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June this year Iliad made an informal offer of between EUR4 billion (USD5.4 billion) and EUR5 billion to buy larger rival Bouygues Telecom. However, people familiar with the matter revealed that Bouygues was seeking a figure closer to EUR7 billion-EUR8 billion for the unit, effectively leaving the discussions at a standstill. Although Iliad representatives declined to comment on the reports, a spokesperson for Bouygues pointed out that ‘all options are on the table’ and noted that the company favours a standalone strategy for its mobile unit.