From one billionaire to another. The Czech Daniel Kretinsky announced on Saturday that he was selling all his shares in the capital of the Le Monde group to Frenchman Xavier Niel.
Daniel Kretinsky, who has increased his investments in major media in recent years, specifies that he “will continue to support French titles and guarantee their independence as a shareholder” for example at She, Marianne or the magazine 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. by Daniel Kretinsky (IMI) in a press release. The amount of this operation has not been communicated.
Game of musical chairs
For its part, Xavier Niel’s holding company (NJJ) specified that the operation was carried out after agreement with the “Pôle d’Independence du Monde”, the minority structure which ensures its independence and approved the operation unanimously.
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.
Xavier Niel and Daniel Kretinsky are among the billionaires increasingly present in the capital of major French media.
Daniel Kretinsky entered the capital of the Le Monde group at the end of 2018, taking 49% of the shares of banker Matthieu Pigasse in one of the structures which controlled the newspaper, and raising concerns among employees. He also has increased investments in industry or distribution, like his offer to take over Casino.
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 economic investigative media “L’Informé”.