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Bouygues moves forward with SFR acquisition plan

Bouygues Telecom chief Martin Bouygues reportedly met French president François Hollande last week as part of a drive to convince French official circles of the seriousness of its move to acquire Vivendi-owned telco SFR.

According to the Journal du Dimanche, the meeting was intended in part to reassure the government about the impact of any merger on employment. The paper said that Bouygues plans to make an offer for SFR within the next 10 days.

Bouygues is reportedly anxious to head off Numericable shareholder Patrick Drahi’s move to engineer a merger of the cable operator and SFR that could leave the smaller telco isolated in the face of competition from Free, Orange and the new entity.

Bouygues is also keen to benefit from synergies from the ‘mutualisation’ of Bouygues’ and SFR’s mobile networks.

According to BFM Business, Bouygues has engaged HSBC and Rothschild to prepare an offer for SFR that would top the €5 billion deal reportedly on offer from Numericable.