(Fixes typo in first paragraph)
PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) - French construction and telecoms group Bouygues said on Monday that it was not in discussions with any other operator, denying a news report that it was weighing a bid to acquire the French SFR telecoms unit of rival Altice.
A spokesman for Altice said separately that SFR was one of the group’s essential assets, part of its industrial and long term project.
Amsterdam-listed Altice’s shares jumped on Monday over a Bloomberg report which said Bouygues alongside other investors were considering a bid for the struggling unit, and that the discussions were in the early stage.
“Like any other market player, Bouygues regularly looks at development possibilities in the telecoms sector,” Bouygues said in a statement.
“However, there are currently no discussions with any other operator,” it said, adding in another statement that no assignment has been retained with any counsel whatsoever.
The Altice spokesman declined to comment specifically on the Bloomberg news report.
Market speculations have surfaced regularly on a possible consolidation of the French telecoms sector, whose margins have suffered since the arrival of Iliad’s low cost mobile services in 2012.
Altice shares closed up 5.4 percent on Monday, after having jumped as high as 8 percent. (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain Writing by Bate Felix Editing by Ingrid Melander)
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