Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: JOEL SAGET / AFP 18:09 p.m., September 23, 2023

Daniel Kretinsky announced Saturday to exit the capital of the group "Le Monde" by selling his shares to the French Xavier Niel. The Czech billionaire has multiplied in recent years investments in major media but also in industry and distribution.

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky announced Saturday to exit the capital of the group Le Monde by selling his shares to another billionaire present in the capital of the media group, the French Xavier Niel. Daniel Kretinsky, who has multiplied investments in major media in recent years, says 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 capitalistic changes in the French press, we wish to provide the necessary means to the titles that need them and that we support in their development projects, while absolutely and fully respecting their editorial freedom," continues Daniel Kretinsky's group (IMI) in a press release. The amount of this transaction was not disclosed.

Shares transferred to the Fund for the Independence of the Press

For its part, Xavier Niel's holding company (NJJ) said that the operation was made after agreement of the "pole of independence of the World", the minority structure that ensures its independence and approved the operation unanimously. The shares will then be transferred to the Fund for the independence of the press, a structure created in 2021 by Xavier Niel, which makes the capital paid to the media statutorily non-transferable.


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"At the end of these movements, the first two shareholders of the Société Éditrice du Monde will be, on the one hand, the Fund for the Independence of the Press (...) and on the other hand the Pole of Independence which brings together the societies of editors, the companies of personnel and the society of readers of Le Monde, "says the holding of Xavier Niel in a press release. Xavier Niel and Daniel Kretinsky are among the billionaires increasingly present in the capital of the major French media.

Multiple investments for Kretinsky

Daniel Kretinsky had 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 that controlled the newspaper, and raising concerns among employees. It has also multiplied investments in industry or 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 or Paris-Turf. It also financed the creation of the online economic investigative media "L'Informer".