July 7, 2018 / 1:12 PM / a year ago

Orange open to French telecom tie-up talks, not an instigator - CFO

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France, July 7 (Reuters) - French telecoms firms Orange is open to discussing potential tie-ups with other operators in its home market but is not likely to be the instigator of consolidation in the sector, financial chief Ramon Fernandez said.

An aggressive price war between French telecoms companies has revived expectations in recent months that the sector, dominated by Orange, Bouygues Telecom, Altice Europe and Iliad was ripe for consolidation.

Fernandez said in an interview with Reuters that Orange was in a strong position and could afford to see how other manoeuvres in the sector played out.

“There is no urgency for us for this scenario of consolidation to materialise,” Fernandez said, on the sidelines of an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France.

“Our position is to say that the door is always open to potential discussions,” he said, adding, however, that it was very improbable that Orange would be “in the driving seat” of any discussions. (Reporting by Pascale Denis and Sarah White, Editing by Leigh Thomas)

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