Orange denies Atos buy out rumours

Orange has denied two week old rumours it’s in talks to acquire French systems integrator Atos.

The €5.93 billion French telecoms vendor says that such an acquisition is also not an issue the board has any plans to discuss.

“Orange denies that it is working on a project relating to a takeover of Atos and in consequence clarifies that this is not a subject that will be discussed at the next Board of Directors meeting.” 

The rumours started in mid-November when Orange was given the green light from the French tax authority that it was set to get a €2.2 billion windfall in tax refunds.

The influential French labour union CFE-CGC is then alleged to have supported plans to use the money to invest in an Atos takeover bid.

Local trade union press L’Usine Nouvelle claims CFE-CGC issued a letter to members calling a potential Orange-Atos merger “a profitable marriage for both groups”.

However, Orange says that rather than M&A, the Board of Directors will invest the money back into the business “for the benefit of the development of the company, its employees and shareholders”.

It singled out its Employee Share Scheme, and a wish to shore up its cash reserves “in the context of the economic and health crisis we are going through”.