Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky sells his shares in Le Monde to Xavier Niel

2023-09-23 16:05:37

The Czech billionaire is known for having invested, among others, in several major French media. JOEL SAGET / AFP

Already a media owner and largest shareholder of Fnac-Darty, the businessman announced he was selling his shares to the French billionaire, an individual shareholder.

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky announced on Saturday that he was withdrawing from the group’s capital The world by reselling his shares to another billionaire with a stake in the media group, the Frenchman Xavier Niel. The amount of this operation has not been communicated. Daniel Kretinsky, who has increased his investments in major media in recent years, specifies that he “will continue to support French securities and guarantee their independence as shareholders» for example at Elle, Marianneor the review Franc-Stireur«or as a lender» for everyday life Release.

«At a time of major capital changes in the French press, we wish to provide the necessary resources to the titles which need them and which we support in their development projects, while absolutely and fully respecting their editorial freedom.», Continues the group of Daniel Kretinsky (IMI) in a press release.

The operation was unanimously approved

For its part, the holding company of Xavier Niel (NJJ) specified that the operation was carried out after agreement of the “independence center of World”, the minority structure which ensures its independence and unanimously approved the operation. The shares will then be transferred to the Press Independence Fund, a structure created in 2021 by Xavier Niel, which makes the capital paid to the media statutorily non-transferable.

«At the end of these movements, the first two shareholders of the Société Éditatrice du Monde will be on the one hand the Fund for the independence of the press (…) and on the other hand the Pôle d’Indépendant which brings together the companies of editors, staff companies and the society of readers of Le Monde», Specifies Xavier Niel’s holding company in a press release.

Xavier Niel and Daniel Kretinsky are among the billionaires increasingly present in the capital of major French media. Daniel Kretinsky had acquired a stake in the group The world at the end of 2018, by taking 49% of the shares of banker Matthieu Pigasse in one of the structures which controlled the newspaper, and raising concerns among employees. It has also increased investments in industry and distribution.

Xavier Niel is one of the very great French fortunes most present in the media: in addition to the Le Monde group, he is a shareholder of Nice-Matin, France-Antilles and Paris-Turf. He also financed the creation of the online investigative economic media “The Informed».


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