Orange CEO sees a potential telco merger in France from 2019

PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) - Market conditions are likely to lead to a new round of merger talks between France’s four telecom operators from 2019, Orange’s chief executive officer Stephane Richard said on Thursday.

Orange, France’s number one telecoms operator, would not take a leading role in a potential consolidation of the telecoms market, Richard told analysts in a call, but would facilitate any deal and would potentially buy some assets.

“In the medium term, (which) could be from 2019, I still think very strongly that the economics of the French market will make the conditions of a consolidation unavoidable,” Richard said.

“We don’t expect anything in the short term...,” he added.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic Editing by Geert De Clercq