Bouygues Telecom steps up cost cuts to secure standalone future

PARIS Thu May 15, 2014 12:46pm EDT

PARIS May 15 (Reuters) - French conglomerate Bouygues is working on further restructuring at its telecom unit and exploring potential tie-ups in the industry but its priority is to keep it an independent business, company executives said on Thursday.

Chief Financial Officer Philippe Marien told reporters the telecoms unit, which has been hit hard by a mobile price war and recently lost a takeover battle for Vivendi's SFR, aimed to achieve an additional 300 million euros ($411 million) in annual cost savings by 2016.

He declined to say how many jobs could be impacted by the stepped-up cost-cutting, as unions now fear Bouygues Telecom could shed up to 2,000 jobs, or over a fifth of its staff. ($1 = 0.7291 Euros) (Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by James Regan)

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