Bouygues already has rejected at least two earlier offers over the last 12 months.
On the other hand, as one magnate once said, at the right price, everything is for sale.
A 10 billion euro price tag would value the telecom business unit as much as the entire Bouygues group before the offer was made public.
Also, Bouygues was offered just 5.5 billion by Orange and Iliad, and eight billion euros by Altice itself.
The other issue is whether French regulators will approve the deal, and there are signs some in the government are opposed to the deal.
Emmanuel Macron, French economy minister, said he could prevent Altice’s Numericable-SFR, the country’s second-biggest mobile operator, from buying Bouygues, the country’s third largest.
But Macron did not definitively say he would block the deal. “We will see,” he said. Earier governments had made clear their support for a consolidation in the French mobile business.
If successful, the deal would create France’s largest mobile operator, and reduce the number of competitors from four to three — a consolidation that could end a three-year price war.