Altice CEO hints at no further bids for Bouygues Telecom, as it eases up on M&A

Bouygues Telecom looks to be off the hook as a potential take-over target of Altice, after the latter's CEO told reporters it is easing up on its strategy of acquisitions.

The French operator's parent, Bouygues Group, in June rejected an Altice bid for its telecoms business, which was reported to be in the region of €10 billion ($11.1 billion).

Reports this week that Altice CEO Dexter Goei has ruled out making further acquisitions in the near term appear to be the final nail in the coffin of any attempt to acquire Bouygues Telecom, and suggest that the company will instead focus on building the fortunes of its own French operator, Numericable-SFR.

The CEO told Bloomberg that Altice was lifting off the accelerator in terms of future acquisitions in order to focus on cutting its costs and integrating cable systems.

Altice has been on something of a shopping spree since an IPO in 2014. During that time, the company completed its acquisition of French operator SFR, bought NextRadioTV, moved in on U.S. cable operator Suddenlink, agreed a deal to acquire Cablevision Systems and acquired the non-African businesses of PT Portugal.

However, Goei admitted the company would still consider an acquisition of U.S. operator Cox Communications if it became available, Bloomberg reported.

The CEO's comments on future acquisitions appear to contradict those of Altice chairman Patrick Drahi, who Bloomberg noted was last week still talking of further cable acquisitions and even the purchase of a mobile operator.

On the flip side, Goei's statement tallies with that of recently appointed COO Michel Combes, who last month said that he would focus on returning Numericable-SFR to profitability as part of his role as chairman of the operator, which forms part of his role with Altice.

The French operator will achieve that goal by investing in its network and reworking tariffs to make them more attractive to consumers, Combes told reporters.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg report

Related articles:
Altice sells La Reunion and Mayotte units, mops up more Numericable-SFR shares
Altice's Combes says 'non' to French price war, as Free presses on regardless
Altice expands content strategy with NextRadioTV deal
Bouygues says 'non' to French consolidation, shuns Altice
Portugal Telecom shareholders approve €7.4B deal with Altice

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