France Telecom Says Bon Voyage


Departing France Telecom chief Michel Bon

Michel Bon turned France Telecom (FT) from a national fixed-line phone company into a European powerhouse. But the acquisition binge that brought the company Orange, a 28.5% stake in MobilCom and a disastrously expensive 3G presence also left it with a staggering debt of nearly ?70 billion, and as Bon resigned last week that looked like his lasting legacy. FT now seems to be headed for a ?10-15 billion rights issue to plug next year's funding gap. But that's a flimsy plaster for a company that hemorrhaged ?8.3 billion last year and ?12.2 billion in this year's first half. Already, in...

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