France Telecom rules out Le Monde bid

France Telecom has held informal talks with Le Monde over a partnership covering digital content, but hasn’t committed to a deal to acquire a majority stake in the newspaper.
 
A company spokeswoman said the telco would be interested in working with the French newspaper, but won’t be looking to buy a 60% stake in the title that was put up for sale earlier this month, WSJ.com reports.
 
She also denied reports that CEO Stephane Richard was considering a personal investment of €35-40 million in Le Monde, via a deal with Claude Perdriel, boss of rival newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur, the news-site said.
 
Richard told Reuters there had been contact between his firm and Le Monde, but said there are no “official negotiations” regarding a partnership because it wouldn’t make sense for a telecoms firm to take a direct stake in a media outfit.
 
However, a collaboration covering digital content would be of interest, if the right deal was available, Richard said.
 
The prized 60% stake journalists hold in Le Monde was put up for sale on June 3, as the newspaper seeks up to €100 million to recapitalize. The title could be declared insolvent by end-July if a buyer can’t be found, FT.com reported.

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