PARIS (Reuters) – NJJ Presse, the holding company of French billionaire Xavier Niel, announced on Saturday that it had bought Daniel Kretinsky’s shares in the newspaper Le Monde with a view to transferring them to the endowment fund intended to guarantee the independence of the newspaper.
“The entire shares held since 2019 by Mr. Daniel Kretinsky’s company in the company Le Nouveau Monde were acquired by NJJ Presse (…) with the irrevocable commitment of NJJ Presse to transfer these shares, jointly with the shares already held directly, in the Press Independence Fund”, we can read in a press release sent to Reuters.
At the end of these movements, adds NJJ, the first two shareholders of the Société Éditatrice du Monde will be this endowment fund and the Pôle d’Independance which brings together editors’ companies, staff companies and the readers’ society of Le Monde.
Xavier Niel’s holding company adds that as it stands, the company Le Nouveau Monde remains a limited partnership whose control remains in the hands of Matthieu Pigasse. The investment banker, member of the trio of businessmen, including Xavier Niel, who had come to the newspaper’s rescue the previous decade, “will ensure the transfer of his shares in the company Le Nouveau Monde to the Fund staffing,” says NJJ.
The Financial Times had reported shortly before that an agreement was close on a buyout of the shares of the Czech energy magnate in Le Monde, a transaction worth around 50 million euros.
(Report by Gilles Guillaume and Sybille de la Hamaide)
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