Is France Telecom backing away from TeliaSonera deal?

Following weeks of speculation the CEO of France Telecom (FT) has stated that it is not in merger talks with TeliaSonera. The French stock market responded positively to this news boosting the telco's share price by nearly two per cent. This comment by the CEO at FT's AGM came only days after the Finnish Prime Minister said that it would not oppose selling off its holdings in a number of companies, including possibly TeliaSonera.

Neighbouring Sweden has already stated its intention to sell its 37.2 per cent holdings in the company. If the Finnish assets were added to that, a buyer would have the chance to gain control over a majority of the shares in TeliaSonera easily, making it an even more attractive target. Besides FT, the Russian Alfa Group and Norwegian Telenor have repeatedly been mentioned as potential buyers.

For more on this story:
- read MoneyAM and Forbes

Related stories:
France Telecom mulls 34B euro TeliaSonera bid. France Telecom story
What's behind FT's interest in TeliaSonera and Telenor. TeliaSonera story