French telco Orange and telecoms-to-construction conglomerate Bouygues are open to including the latter’s 44% interest in leading commercial broadcaster TF1 in any deal between the pair, according to French newspaper Le Monde.
Orange and Bouygues have confirmed that they are in talks over the future of the latter’s telecom unit, Bouygues Telecom, but have not mentioned Bouygues’ stake in TF1.
According to Le Monde, citing unnamed sources, Orange and Bouygues are open to the idea of Orange taking a stake in TF1 of around 10%.
Orange CEO Stéphane Richard told TV station RTL that convergence between telecoms and content in general was again coming to the fore. He said that while there was a need “to leave the door open” on this topic, it was not on the agenda “for the moment”.
A deal over TF1 could be controversial because the French state retains a 24% stake in Orange.
French economy minister Emmanuel Macron told journalists earlier this week that the Frenchstate plans to remain a key shareholders in the telco and will assess a deal over Bouygues Telecom with consumer protection, jobs and investment in mind.