Le Monde, the French newspaper that is regarded as the country’s establishment bible, is on verge of great change. Its journalistic staff, who famously control the company, will meet later this week to discuss four take-over offers.
All the potential purchasers want to end the journalists’ control, which gives them a veto on the appointments of the chief executive and editor.
The staff look ready to accept the inevitable in the face of a mounting crisis. The group lost €25m (£21m) last year and it has debts of €125m. As Gilles Van Kote, chairman of Le Monde’s journalists’ society, says: “We need cash.”
The four hopeful buyers are: Prisa, the Spanish media group; l’Espresso, the Italian media group; Claude Perdriel, the owner of the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur; and a consortium composed of Pierre Bergé, the former partner of Yves Saint Laurent, the late fashion designer, Xavier Niel, the owner of an internet access provider, and Mathieu Pigasse, vice-chairman in Europe of investment bank Lazard.
It now appears that Perdriel and Prisa have teamed up to make a joint offer.
Source: The Times