(Reuters) - French low-cost telecoms operator Iliad SA (ILD.PA) made an informal offer in recent weeks to buy rival Bouygues Telecom that did not meet the asking price of conglomerate parent Bouygues SA (BOUY.PA), Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Talks are at a standstill after Iliad offered to pay between 4 billion and 5 billion euros ($5.45 billion to $6.81 billion) for the division, which Bouygues is seeking to sell for about 7 billion to 8 billion euros, Bloomberg said. (link.reuters.com/nad99v)
Representatives at Bouygues SA and Iliad SA could not be reached outside of regular business hours.
French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said in May that the government would reduce the number of domestic telecom players to three, stressing that tough competition in the sector was hurting jobs and investment in high-speed broadband.
The news comes days after sources told Reuters that domestic telecoms market leader Orange (ORAN.PA) had hired investment banks to assess its own takeover of Bouygues, in a deal that could be priced at more than 6 billion euros.
Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Leslie Adler