25 September 2023

Křetínský sold his stake in Le Monde

Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský has sold his stake in the French daily Le Monde to Xavier Niel, who will transfer it to his fund for press independence. According to the Financial Times, the transaction is worth approximately EUR 50 million.

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Founded in 1944 at the request of Charles de Gaulle after the liberation of Paris, Le Monde is France's largest daily newspaper with around 480,000 subscribers. The newspaper, originally owned for decades by its journalists and staff, was in serious financial trouble in 2010 and sought outside investors to rescue it. A group made up of telecoms billionaire Niel, businessman Pierre Bergé and investment banker Matthieu Pigasse stepped in to provide funding. To ensure editorial independence, they set up a consortium representing Le Monde's journalists, staff and readers, who together own 25.4% of the group.

Křetínský, who studied in France, has already invested in the country several times in the energy sector and also in food retailer Casino, electronics retailer Fnac-Darty and book publisher Editis. In addition, the Czech billionaire recently bid for the owners of the British newspaper Telegraph and the Spectator magazine.