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Alex Webb

Altice Billionaire Might Spy an End to French Misery

Selling French assets to Martin Bouygues would hurt, but would cut a massive debt pile.
Photographer: Ivan Guilbert

Martin Bouygues might be about to do fellow telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi a bit of a favor.

Drahi's Altice NV is sitting on 53 billion euros ($66 billion) of debt, with the next major tranche, some 9 billion euros, due in 2022. Should France's Bouygues SA -- a construction and phone conglomerate -- make a bid for Altice's French telecoms assets, as Bloomberg News reported it is considering, that would be a rapid way to reduce the burden.