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View of the headquarters of the newspaper "Le Monde" in Paris. © Siegfried Forster / RFI

Journalists from the World have obtained what they have been demanding for months: a "right of approval", that is to say a right of inspection, in case of change of shareholder of the newspaper.

The authorization right allows Le Monde employees to approve or reject the arrival of a major new shareholder. This is an unprecedented provision in the French press.

The anxiety was born with the arrival of Daniel Kretinsky in the capital of the newspaper. One year ago, the Czech manufacturer bought back 49% of the shares held by the banker Matthieu Pigasse, one of the key shareholders.

Concerns about a Czech industrialist

Since then, journalists have wondered what were the real intentions of Daniel Kretinsky who invested, in France, in the press as well as in coal-fired power plants and Casino supermarkets.

The right of approval reassures journalists grouped in the Pole of Independence , which holds a quarter of the capital, and which is supposed to guarantee the editorial freedom of the newspaper.

In concrete terms, what happens if a new shareholder does not obtain approval? The independence pole will buy its shares at a price set by experts, while respecting a floor. The shareholder will not be losing financially.

All the capital of the world in a foundation

Another victory for Le Monde : the shares held by the Spanish press group Prisa, who wants to sell, will be divided 50/50 between Matthieu Pigasse and Xavier Niel, the other major shareholder.

Xavier Niel who wishes that ultimately, all the capital of the newspaper is transferred to a foundation, a legal structure that would sanctuariserait the independence of the World .