Africa press review

In the spotlight: on his 70th birthday, Vincent Bolloré announces the sale to MSC of his activities in Africa

Audio 03:56

The Vincent Bolloré group (our photo) was condemned for “abusive procedure” against France television by the Paris commercial court.

© Eric Piermont / AFP

By: Norbert Navarro

3 mins


This time, " 

it's official 

," reports

Jeune Afrique


In a press release yesterday evening, the Bolloré group confirmed that it had sold all of what will be presented here as its African subsidiary, to the MSC group, i.e. 16 port terminals, three railway lines and " 

a whole logistics network made up of dry ports and storage warehouses installed across the continent

 ", lists this pan-African newspaper.

Which specifies that the price of this sale was set at 5.7 billion euros.

Even if "

 the realization 

" of this operation is still "

conditioned on obtaining regulatory authorization and the opinion of the competent competition authorities


Jeune Afrique

stresses that it is " 

a page that turns for the family Bolloré

 ", at a time when MSC is preparing to become " 

leader of the port sector in Africa, where the group already manages two terminals, in Lomé in Togo and San Pedro in Côte d'Ivoire


In Africa,

Dakar Actu

translates into local currency the amount of the sale of the continental logistics activities of Bolloré, a branch of the Bolloré group that this Senegalese site describes as “ 



Arithmetically irreproachable result: " 

3738 billion CFA francs 


Just as pertinently,

Dakar Actu

points out that this activity "

 concerns more than 20 countries on the African continent


Also in Senegal, the daily

24 Hours

took the time to publish this belated information and recalls in particular that the MSC group is " 

based in Geneva

 " and that it belongs "

 to the Italian Aponte family 

", while pointing out the fact that MSC " 

claims a fleet of 560 vessels and more than 100,000 employees, with the management of terminals in Singapore, Long Beach


or Rotterdam


Uncertain term sale

Can Bolloré rightly sell African assets which it has the use of via public service delegations?

Precisely, “ 

this sale in question will not be finalized until 2023,


Actu Cameroun


It will be subject to obtaining several authorizations, such as that of the French competition authority, an independent body which monitors compliance with procurement.

In Africa, in recent years, the French group has faced strong Chinese competition.

Much more, Bolloré is at the heart of a corruption case in Guinea and Togo 

”, completes this Cameroonian site.

Can Bolloré really sell?

Without answering this question directly, several French newspapers, such as

Ouest France

… or the economic magazine


all the same recall that “ 

Cyrille Bolloré, who succeeded his father as CEO of the group in 2019, accompanied by Philippe Labonne, Managing Director of Bolloré Ports, and the former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy, close to the family, had gone to Abidjan at the start of the year to convince the Ivorian authorities to authorize the sale of strategic assets


Finally, as a reminder, the site of the daily newspaper

Les Échos

underlines that by finalizing this transaction, Vincent Bolloré, " 

who is celebrating his 70th birthday


on April 1 and has just handed over power to his son Cyrille Bolloré, closes a chapter important in the history of the family group in Africa, which began in 1986 with the takeover from Suez of the SCAC (Commercial Chartering and Fuel Company).

The African logistics branch now generates a turnover of just over 2 billion euros and employs more than 28,000 people

 ,” adds

Les Échos.


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