November 9, 2017 / 5:15 PM / a month ago

Orange CEO says French state's exit from Orange not on "today's agenda"

LAVAL, France, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Orange Chief Executive Stephane Richard said on Thursday an exit of the French state from the capital of the telecom operator did not seem to be on “today’s agenda”.

Richard said that in any event any potential change to the 23 percent controlling stake the state holds in Orange was likely to be gradual and manageable.

“As to the future shareholding of the group, all will depend on the timetable and the terms of a possible state’s exit, which I do not particularly wish for,” Richard told Reuters on the sidelines of a press conference on broadband.

“I cannot imagine that the state will exit all at once and suddenly from the conpany’s capital... One can perfectly manage a gradual withdrawal for the state without raising the issue of finding an alternative shareholder,” he said.

Reporting by Guillaume Frouin, Wriing by Dominique Vidalon

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