Monday, April 4, 2016

Bouygues Telecom – Orange: these enmities that helped derail the deal – Les Echos

They were able to speak, but not to hear nor to trust and the deal fell apart. It is common knowledge: Martin Bouygues does not like Patrick Drahi and he does not speaks to Xavier Niel, which does the same with Patrick Drahi. This does not make things easier when it comes to signing a deal that involves all.

Otherwise, discussions on the acquisition of Bouygues Telecom would not have to go that far. But in vain. What quickly revive non resentment extinguished. “Obviously, one of the protagonists harbored the ambition to have the maximum pay the minimum, while keeping the possibility to withdraw,” said Martin Bouygues to “Figaro” on Monday morning, referring to Xavier Niel without appoint.

“Some people thought I was bluffing and that I negotiated back to the wall, it was stupid and even childish to think,” he added. A new installment in a series that lasts more than five years before the actual arrival of Free as a fourth operator.

“pigeons guests were treated”

I bought a castle, this is not to let the gypsies come on lawns , “reportedly said Martin Bouygues to Nicolas Sarkozy in January 2011, according to the” Chained Duck “. The boss of construction giant then referred to the risk of Free land in the mobile sector. A year later, the subsidiary of Iliad is launched on the market. Upstream, Orange passed a roaming agreement with her and praised her 3G network.

A transaction giving rise to strong resentment among Martin Bouygues against the Orange CEO Stephane Richard. “ If it was one of my colleagues, a long time ago that I would have fired ” would have squeaked Martin Bouygues in an interview with Arnaud Montebourg – then Minister of Productive Recovery – in March 2013.

We made calling, insults like no one ever was. Under what? I do not know. We treated our customers pigeons, etc. You must see the service offered by Free, which is a calamity ‘, was also launched Martin Bouygues to students at the University of Paris-Dauphine in April 2012.

” the King of confused “

the escalation will reach its climax at the end of 2013. the three incumbent operators refine their new 4G offers for end of year celebrations – strong commitment period and renewal – to recuperate after the Free wave when Xavier Niel announced on Twitter that he will propose his … at the cost of 3G.

The Wind (…) a shot com , “retorts the CEO of Orange on RTL ..” first of all, thank you Mr. Niel! There are two weeks, he said on television that the 4G c ‘was anything (…) that it was still a trap invented by operators. He finally realized that it was important 4G (…) Even at zero the 4G Free is probably too expensive! , “says Stéphane Richard a few days later at the LeWeb conference.

This is the start of an aggressive tennis. “ Stéphane Richard is still young in the business “, Niel balance in the “JDD”. “ I find pretentious and aggressive Xavier Niel. I think it loses some nerves (…) Xavier Niel is the king of the muddle. Free Mobile has only a few frequencies and antennas, when compared to its competitors “, Stéphane Richard replica in the” Figaro “.

“What Niel do the same if he is capable of! “

Then it was the turn of Martin Bouygues out of the woods and bang your fist on the table. He says he will “ declare war in the fixed Internet.” In the fixed Internet, the party is over. (…) Bouygues Telecom will offer a real break in 2014 with innovative technologies and services. We’re going to 150 euros savings a year to fixed subscribers who choose this service, making a 12.5 euros per month saving. Who says better ? Xavier Niel do the same if he is capable of! “ton there in” Le Figaro “.

The next day, the title Iliad unscrews of 10.37%, even briefly suspended in the morning, and the market capitalization of the parent company of Free cross 1 billion euros on the day. Having a common enemy also allows Stéphane Richard and Martin Bouygues of soothe their relationships.

These qu’entretiennent Martin Bouygues and Xavier Niel do not improve over the years, but their teams, however manage to work together. in full battle with Patrick Drahi for redemption of SFR, Bouygues Martin finally signed an agreement with the Free boss to sell him its mobile network and part of the spectrum for 1.8 billion euros, upon redemption of the number two in the market. the CEO of Bouygues is rational: he knows that this agreement is necessary to obtain approval from the Competition Authority on the purchase of SFR Bouygues.

“It is based on the cable, which is only the” Canada Dry “”

After the failure of Bouygues Telecom, Free would have made an informal offer more than 4 billion euros to buy the operator. “ A joke “, reportedly replied Martin Bouygues, which also refused, a year later, the offer of an amount exceeding 10 billion euros made by Patrick Drahi.

in March 2013 – in full battle with SFR Bouygues – Patrick Drahi saw Xavier Niel welcome him on the market in “Les Echos”. “ In recent years, Numericable has hardly won a subscriber under its brand in broadband yet on a dynamic market, and it invests 40 million euros in fiber! It builds on the cable, which is that of “Canada Dry” fiber to the home , “said the boss of Free.

To become president and get involved in his business, Patrick Drahi should return to French tax resident. I would find it very friendly, but he intends? I think rather that Numericable / SFR will be controlled in Luxembourg, owned by a company based in Guernsey whose principal beneficiary will be in Switzerland ‘, as he was careful to specify. Finally, there is that Patrick Drahi who has never been caught in a public assault offense against its competitors!

Since the start of negotiations by year end last, the tone had been more subdued among the four leaders, at least publicly. This new failure of a redemption of Bouygues Telecom – the fourth in two years! – May reset to the soundbites machine in the coming weeks.

Nicolas Richaud


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