French govt will weigh in on any SFR deal-Minister

PARIS, March 4 Tue Mar 4, 2014 7:23am EST

PARIS, March 4 (Reuters) - The French government will want to discuss terms of any sale by media and telecoms group Vivendi of its mobile telephony business SFR, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Tuesday.

The government will be particularly vigilant with regard to jobs and investment plans, he told reporters at a news conference.

"We have some positions of principle on employment and investment," he said.

Vivendi wants to sell SFR, which is suffering from a price war in the sector, and according to a person close to the situation, the group expects to receive preliminary offers from sector players Bouygues and Numericable this week.

New entrant Iliad may also decide to bid at a later date, another source has said.

In an interview with Le Figaro on Tuesday, Numericable's largest shareholder, Patrick Drahi, who owns 40 percent through his Altice holding company, promised to protect jobs.

(Reporting by Gwénaëlle Barzic; editing by Blaise Robinson)

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