Xavier Niel buys the shares of Czech Kretinsky in Le Monde

Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsk, January 22, 2020 in Paris (AFP/Archives/JOEL SAGET)

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky announced on Saturday that he was withdrawing from the capital of the Le Monde group by reselling his shares to another billionaire present in the capital of the media group, the 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 Elle, Marianne or the magazine Franc-Tireur , “or as a lender” for the daily Libération.

“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.

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.

“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’Independance 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.

French businessman Xavier Niel, July 6, 2023 in Paris

French businessman Xavier Niel, July 6, 2023 in Paris (AFP/Archives/JOEL SAGET)

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.

It has also increased investments in industry and distribution.

Xavier Niel is one of the very large 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”.

© 2023 AFP

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