Orange could forge a closer relationship with Vivendi and Canal+ and the pair are in permanent dialogue, according to Orange CEO Stéphane Richard.
In an interview with French daily La Tribune, Richard said that orange and Vivendi had plenty of things to exchange given that Vivendi was a content player and Orange was a distributor of content. He said that the pair were also aligned geographically in France, Poland and Africa. However, Richard said that Orange had no interest in Italy, where Vivendi has a significant stake in Telecom Italia. He told La Tribune that he had no discussions with Vivendi on the Italian market.
Richard stopped short of saying that the pair were talking about more ambitious forms of cooperation for now, but said that they had an interest in intensifying their relationship. He also said that other content players in France and elsewhere were interested in forging relationships with the company.
Richard said that Orange’s main interests in further expansion, following the failure of its acquisition of Bouygues Telecom, were Europe outside France and the Middle East and Africa. However, he said that Orange would weight opportunities carefully.
Orange yesterday completed the acquisition of mobile operator Airtel Burkina Faso in concert with its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire. Burkina Faso is the 20th country in Africa and the Middle East to join the Orange group.
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