PARIS (Reuters) – Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation on Wednesday, the prosecutor’s office said, on suspicions he tried to use his influence to thwart an investigation of his 2007 election campaign.
The step, which often but not always leads to trial, is a major setback to Sarkozy’s hopes of a comeback after his 2012 election defeat by Socialist rival Francois Hollande. The conservative politician denies all wrongdoing in a string of investigations in which he is either directly or indirectly implicated.
PARIS (Reuters) – Vincent Bollore, the largest shareholder of Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and its new chairman, said the company would face major challenges and powerful competitors as it seeks to become an integrated media group.
Bollore, who owns 5 percent of Vivendi, will be the key decision maker as the company seeks to forge a coherent whole out of its three remaining businesses after selling off three units, including French telecom operator SFR, in a two-year overhaul.
PARIS (Reuters) – The French government still wants to reduce the number of mobile telecom operators in the national market to three from four to bring an end to the “destructive spiral” of falling prices, Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Thursday.
“Our position is to work towards a return to three operators,” Montebourg told a telecoms conference organized by Les Echos newspaper.
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s third-placed mobile operator Bouygues Telecom plans to get rid of 17 percent of its staff, or some 1,516 workers, in a bid to cut costs to ensure its independence in a turbulent market where prices fell by one-third last year.
Olivier Roussat, who heads the telecoms arm of the family-controlled conglomerate, also acknowledged that sale talks held with potential buyers – low-cost player Iliad and leader Orange – were no longer ongoing.
PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) – French media group Lagardere
has targeted organic annual revenue growth of more
than 3 percent through to 2018, helped by new markets and online
sales, and said a dispute with online retailer Amazon
would not affect 2014 sales.
The family-founded company with 10 percent shareholder
Arnaud Lagardere at the helm has recently sold off several
low-growth businesses as it seeks to address zero or negative
organic growth over the past five quarters.
PARIS, May 26 (Reuters) – Atos is to buy Bull
in an all-French IT sector deal worth 620 million euros
($845 million) to create the top Europe-based cloud computing
company and a major player in cybersecurity.
The companies said a combined Atos and Bull, currently
numbers 5 and 10 respectively in cloud computing in Western
Europe, would leap to the fast-growing industry’s number-two
spot by revenue behind U.S.-based Amazon and ahead of
LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Canadian pension fund PSP Investment is making a surprise comeback in the race to buy broadcasting masts group TDF’s French unit, opening a new episode in a protracted selloff saga, said three sources familiar with the matter.
PSP Investment is taking advantage of rival bidder Dering Capital’s difficulties in financing its bid, which sources previously said came at about 3.7 billion euros ($5.07 billion).
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.
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.
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.