The owner buys the shares of the Bernard Tapie group in the Marseille press group, but also the 11% held by rival Xavier Niel.
A dramatic change in Marseille. After almost a year of bitter battle to buy the La Provence group (Provence, Corsica Morning), Rodolphe Saadé has finally won the match against his rival Xavier Niel. The global maritime transport giant CMA CGM seizes 89% of the shares held by the Bernard Tapie Group (GBT) in La Provence, but also 11% of the capital held by the boss of Free through its holding company NJJ. “I welcome this agreement with NJJ. It will allow us to work with all the employees of La Provence and Corse Matin on the implementation of our development and recovery project. A new chapter in the history of these two newspapers can thus begin ”.comment for Le Figaro Rodolfo Saade.
Faced with an endless recovery practice that had been mired for months in multiple twists and turns and legal remedies, liquidator Marc Sénéchal had decided earlier this summer to have Rodolphe Saadé and Xavier Niel sit at the same table. to unblock the situation. It took nearly two months for the two businessmen to reach an agreement. “ I am sincerely pleased that, through a direct and constructive dialogue, we have been able to find in recent weeks a solution that satisfies all parties and protects the interests of all. »Explains Marc Sénéchal.
Rodolphe Saadé, determined to afford his first assets in the press, will pay the hefty sum of 81 million euros to afford 89% of the capital of Provence, four times more than the estimated estimate. A boon for the judicial liquidators, who are trying to repay to the State the debt of 400 million euros left by the late Bernard Tapie … The boss of CMA CGM thus repurchases for an amount the shares of NJJ in the capital of La Provence well over 10 million euros. Good business therefore for Xavier Niel, who leaves the capital with a generous compensation.
A common typography
In addition, CMA-CGM and NJJ have also agreed on a project for the creation of a jointly controlled and financed company, with the aim of developing a new printing plant located in the Var. The latter having the vocation to print by the end of the year 2024 the newspaper La Provence and the Nice-Matin newspaper, owned by Xavier Niel. The Marseillais owner thus chose to abandon the project of building a printing press in Marseille, dedicated exclusively to the printing of Provence.
From now on, the La Provence Board of Directors, which will meet in the coming days, will have to validate the transfer of the NJJ shares to CMA CGM. Board members will also have to give their approval to the sale of GBT’s shares in the press group. As a last step, the judge-commissioner of the court of Bobigny, in charge of the case, will have to register the final sale of La Provence to CMA CGM no later than 30 September. “ The completion of the planned operations will be accompanied by the conclusion of the ongoing judicial proceedings “, Specify CMA CGM and NJJ in their joint press release published on Tuesday 30 August.
SEE ALSO – Xavier Niel fired by La Provence employees