UPDATE 2-Orange CEO says needs invite from Bollore to look at Telecom Italia
(Adds comment from Renzi paras 6 and 7)
By Mathieu Rosemain
CAIRO, March 8 (Reuters) - Orange Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard has said he might look into the possibility of a merger deal with Telecom Italia if French billionaire Vincent Bollore invited him to, but does not think that would happen.
Bollore is chairman and the biggest shareholder of French media group Vivendi, which since last year has built up a 23.8 percent stake in Telecom Italia.
"If one day Mr. Bollore tells me, 'the best thing would be to make a deal between us and make Orange buy Telecom Italia', then we'll see," Richard said on the sidelines of an event in Cairo late on Monday.
"I don't think it's in his intentions," he added, saying that he met Bollore regularly.
Vivendi and Telecom Italia declined to comment.
Asked about the possibility of a Franco-Italian tie-up in the telecoms sector, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday that Italy was happy to welcome foreign investors.
"Naturally we will leave it to the market to decide," Renzi said following bilateral talks in Venice with French President Francois Hollande. "Whoever has money, whoever has projects, whoever creates employment, whoever has intriguing ideas should know that Italy is the right place to show off their skills." Continuación...