Officially owner of Journal on Sundaye (JDD) and of Paris Match, Vincent Bolloré is now the sole master in this kingdom over which Arnaud Lagardère still reigned yesterday. The two weeklies are added to the twenty brands of Prisma Presse (Gala, Current woman, Here, Capital, I’m interested, etc.) that Vivendi has owned since the spring of 2021. Gathered within a limited partnership of which Arnaud Lagardère retains the reins, the Europe 1, Europe 2 and RFM radio stations are expanding the audiovisual empire built around the Canal+ group and its multiple channels.
However, the weekly, which appeared on Thursdays, almost escaped his notice. For the European Commission, in fact, Vivendi could not own two of the most powerful titles in the tabloid press, Match et Gala, without finding themselves in an ultra-dominant situation.
From the beginning of January, this therefore meant that to endorse the takeover bid Vivendi would have to separate from one of the two. A golden opportunity for Bernard Arnault to get his hands on Paris Match, which he has coveted for a long time. As he confirmed to the senators of the commission of inquiry into concentration in the media, in January 2022, the boss of LVMH made a purchase offer, coupled with the JDD, in April 2021. This remained a dead letter, but the possibility that the titles would return to him never completely evaporated. The hypothesis of a future rapprochement of the Sunday newspaper with the Sunday edition of Parisian (which he owns, as does the business daily The echoes), with a view to creating a joint superoffer, has long been the subject of recurring rumors.
A scenario that takes water
Did Vincent Bolloré maintain Bernard Arnault’s hopes with the idea of attracting the leniency of the latter’s titles? Without directly identifiable pressures, “it was better not to publish a word of negative so as not to interfere with the discussions”testifies a framework of one of the two dailies.
In March, the editorial staff of Parisian discovers that, a few months earlier, one of their colleagues was recommended to abandon an investigation which mentioned the Breton industrialist. Rumor has it that the request was made to him on the grounds that the shareholder, Mr. Arnault therefore, “was in negotiations with Bolloré to buy media titles”. To Echos, a review of the book story of an ogre, by Erik Orsenna (a kind of modern tale of which Vincent Bolloré is the antihero), published on February 23 by Gallimard (176 pages, 18.50 euros), will lead, a few weeks later and in a general outcry, to the ousting of the editorial director, Nicolas Barré.
You have 49.88% .. “”.