France Telecom looks to swell coffers for UMTS bidding

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

France Telecom is to raise funds for its European expansion plans by selling its 11 per cent stake in chip manufacturer STMicroelectronics. The announcement follows months of speculation that France Telecom was looking to sell its stake to finance expansion plans through UMTS licences. Jean-Louis Viniciguerra, finance director at France Telecom, said the company would be looking for a buyer over the next two years. However, he said the buyer will have to be content with owning a strategic share as the stake is part of a holding company with CEA Industries.