Senior Staff Photographer/Editor, Toronto, Ontario
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May 16, 2014

Orange-Bouygues talks revive French telecoms merger debate

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – French telecoms market leader Orange is in talks about a tie-up with Bouygues Telecom, France’s economy minister said on Friday after two sources said the discussions could lead to Orange acquiring its smaller rival.

The discussions bring Orange, the former France Telecom monopoly, into the frame for the first time in moves to consolidate the industry, but other industry sources wondered how far talks could go between the biggest and third-biggest mobile service providers, given the likely antitrust hurdles.

May 16, 2014

Orange studying Bouygues Telecom tie-up – minister

PARIS/LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) – French telecoms market
leader Orange is in talks about a tie-up with smaller
Bouygues Telecom, France’s economy minister confirmed on Friday,
after two sources said the discussions could lead to Orange
acquiring the business.

Asked in a TV interview about reports of the talks, French
Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said “they exist” but that
there were “multiple discussions” taking place in the industry.

May 15, 2014

Vivendi cautiously upbeat for 2014, Q1 sales in line

PARIS, May 15 (Reuters) – French media and telecoms group
Vivendi said on Thursday a tighter focus on media and
content should drive growth in 2014, as it posted first-quarter
sales in line with forecasts after the sale of SFR.

Chief Financial Officer Herve Philippe said the slimmed-down
firm would offer more detail on its growth plans once a new
management team, which is expected to include top shareholder
Vincent Bollore, was selected in June.

May 12, 2014

France’s Le Pen: Eurosceptics to block EU-U.S. trade pact

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Marine Le Pen sees her far right National Front joining force with other Eurosceptic parties in the next European Parliament to block a major transatlantic trade pact billed by supporters as vital for global growth and jobs.

In an interview with Reuters less than two weeks before the May 25 European Parliament election, Le Pen forecast that anti-EU parties would together win enough seats to form a political group in the legislature, gaining access to increased EU funding and a greater say in the assembly’s running.

May 9, 2014

Publicis CEO says board backs him after Omnicom deal fails

PARIS, May 9 (Reuters) – Advertising agency Publicis
will probably return money to shareholders and pursue
smaller acquisitions this year as it seeks to get back on track
after the failure of a $35 billion merger with U.S. peer Omnicom
.

Chief Executive Maurice Levy told Reuters in an interview on
Friday that the board backed him to stay on despite what was
arguably the biggest setback of his more than 30-year tenure.

Apr 29, 2014

France’s Orange cuts costs as mobile price war abates

PARIS, April 29 (Reuters) – France’s biggest telecom
operator Orange has continued cutting costs on
everything from staff to mobile phone marketing, allowing it to
hold profit margins steady despite lower sales across its major
markets.

The group on Tuesday posted first-quarter sales and
operating profit that met expectations and confirmed its goal
for 12-12.5 million euros ($16.6-17.3 million) in earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)
this year.

Apr 17, 2014

China, Europe recovery boosts Publicis first quarter sales

PARIS (Reuters) – Advertising agency Publicis, which is merging with larger rival Omnicom, achieved 3.3 percent revenue growth on a comparable basis in the first quarter, helped by strong digital sales and an uptick in China and Europe.

Publicis, the first major ad group to post results for the period, said revenue was 1.6 billion euros ($2.21 billion). The average estimate of analysts was 1.62 billion and organic growth of 3 percent, according to company-provided figures.

Apr 17, 2014

China, Europe recovery boosts Publicis Q1 sales

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) – Advertising agency Publicis
, which is merging with larger rival Omnicom,
achieved 3.3 percent revenue growth on a comparable basis in the
first quarter, helped by strong digital sales and an uptick in
China and Europe.

Publicis, the first major ad group to post results for the
period, said revenue was 1.6 billion euros ($2.21 billion). The
average estimate of analysts was 1.62 billion and organic growth
of 3 percent, according to company-provided figures.

Apr 9, 2014

French government says will pursue telecom market consolidation

PARIS (Reuters) – The French government will continue to pursue consolidation in the country’s telecoms sector after Vivendi’s decision to sell its SFR unit to cable firm Numericable, Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Wednesday.

The government had openly supported a rival bid from Bouygues, arguing that the number of mobile operators needed to come down to three to end a destructive price war and encourage investment in high-speed broadband. Vivendi finally picked Numericable on Saturday, in a move that keeps the number of operators at four.

Apr 7, 2014

Numericable shares soar after wins battle for Vivendi’s SFR telecoms unit

PARIS, April 7 (Reuters) – Shares in French cable company
Numericable surged on Monday after it won the battle
to buy Vivendi’s telecoms arm SFR, in a deal which
creates the second-biggest player in a reshaped French telecoms
market.

Despite a sweetened, last-ditch offer from rival Bouygues
– the outsider in the race but favoured by the French
government – Vivendi said on Saturday it had picked Numericable
as the better bid in terms of business logic, commitment to
preserving jobs, chances of regulatory approval and long-term
value.

    • About Hyungwon

      "As a photojournalist for more than a quarter of century, Hyungwon Kang has been a witness to history. Kang has worked for Reuters, The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and TIME Magazine. During his tenure in journalism, Kang has served as a Photographer, Photo Editor, Front Page Photo Editor, Photo Assignment Editor, and as a Manager of Photo Department. Currently, Kang works as Senior Picture Editor at Reuters Pictures North America Desk. Duties include assigning and editing of news, sports and feature coverage of the U.S. and Canada as well as participating in news coverage as needed."
      Joined Reuters:
      2001
      Languages:
      English, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese
      Awards:
      Pulitzer, 1993
      Pulitzer, 1999
    • More from Hyungwon

      Publications:
      "From the Streets to the Olympics, (Korea, Democracy and the 24th Olympiad, 1987-88)
      Art Space publications, 1989"
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