Vincent Bolloré

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Person.png Vincent Bolloré  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(businessman, media owner, billionaire)
Vincent Bollore.jpg
Born1 April 1952
Alma materLycée Janson-de-Sailly, Paris Nanterre University
Parents • Michel Bolloré
• Monique Follot
Children • Yannick Bolloré
• Cyrille Bolloré
• Sébastien Bolloré
• Marie Bolloré
SiblingsMichel-Yves Bolloré
Spouse • Sophie Fossorier
• Anaïs Jeanneret
Member ofEuropean Round Table of Industrialists, WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1993
Interest ofBernard Ésambert
RelativesNicole von Goldschmidt
French industrialist, businessman, media owner and billionaire. grandmother a spy. Started his career at the [Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild

Vincent Bolloré is a French industrialist, businessman, media owner and billionaire. He is the majority shareholder of the Bolloré Group (paper and African products), as well as the former Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vivendi and of the Canal+. He ues his advertising and media power to suppress reports of conditions on his African plantations.

Family origins

Through his father Michel Bolloré, Vincent Bolloré is the heir to a family of Breton industrialists. Through his mother Monique Follot, he descends from the Goldschmidt Family, a very influential Rhineland Jewish financial family.

His maternal grandmother, Nicole von Goldschmidt, meant a lot to him. During World War II she entered into the secret services of Charles de Gaulle and the Free French in London. After the war, under the cover of the Red Cross , she pursued a long career as a secret agent in the SDECE, notably as liaison with her Israeli counterparts. She was also a friend of Edmond de Rothschild and the parents of Antoine Bernheim, former managing partner at the Lazard bank, who himself become a close friend of Vincent's aunt and played a role in Vincent's success [1].

Private life

Vincent Bolloré is the father of four children from his marriage to Sophie Fossorier, whom he married in 1977. The couple divorced 2004. Vincent Bolloré then lived in a free union with the actress and novelist Anaïs Jeanneret, former companion of Gérard Darmon and Jean Drucker. Anaïs Jeanneret and Vincent Bolloré have since separated[2].

Vincent Bolloré is a traditionalist Catholic and confesses twice a week to Father Grimaud, a traditionalist priest, who Bolloré lodges and keeps[3].

He plans to retire on February 17, 2022, on the bicentenary of the family business, and to pass the hand over to his four children[4].

Professional activities

Vincent Bolloré began his career in 1970 at the age of 18, at the Bank of the European Industrial and Financial Union. In 1975, at the age of 23, a general meeting at Bolloré Group allowed Vincent Bolloré and his brother Michel-Yves to take equal control of the company with the Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild (CFER), while Vincent became Deputy Director of CFER.

Bolloré Group deals in maritime freight, trade with African products, and paper manufacturing. Bolloré employs 33,000 people worldwide.

In 1981, Vincent Bolloré left Edmond de Rothschild, and with his brother Michel-Yves Bolloré, they recovered the bank's share for a symbolic 1 franc each.

He is a well-known corporate raider in France who has succeeded in making money by taking large stakes in French listed companies, in particular the building and construction group Bouygues, where he left with a sizeable capital gain after a power struggle. He pulled a similar move with French video game company Ubisoft, owning an approximate 27% stake in the company in 2016, before Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot maneuvered a deal to have a coalition of Tencent Games, among other companies, to buy out Bolloré's shares for about $2.45 billion.[5]

In late 2004, his investment group started building a stake in advertising group Havas, becoming its largest single shareholder. He mounted a coup and replaced Alain de Pouzilhac as CEO in July 2005. In 2005, through his family company, he expanded his media interests by launching the Direct 8 television station. Towards the end of 2005, he began building a stake in independent British media planning and buying group, Aegis. Direct Soir, a free newspaper, was launched in June 2006. In 2014, as president of Vivendi he decided to invest in the Italian telecom company Telecom Italia and in the Italian broadcaster, Mediaset, controlled by Berlusconi family’s holding company Fininvest.[6]

The Bolloré Group also has important positions in the economies of several former French colonies in Africa (in particular Ivory Coast, Gabon, Cameroon, and Congo).[7][8][9]

On 24 April 2018, Bolloré was brought into custody for questioning concerning perceived links between discount rates for political consulting (through Havas) and port concessions in Lomé, Togo; and Conakry, Guinea. He was subsequently indicted for "corruption of foreign agents", "falsification of documents", and "complicity in breach of trust".[10][11] If found guilty, he could face a maximum fine of €1 million and up to 10 years' imprisonment.[12]

In 2021, Vincent Bolloré acknowledged the facts with which he is accused. Under the terms of a sentence negotiation suggested by the prosecution, he agreed to plead guilty, subject to which a fine of 375,000 euros. However, the Paris court refused to validate the agreement, paving the way for a criminal trial.[13]

Nicolas Sarkozy

In 2007, Vincent Bolloré put his private jet and his personal yacht at the disposal of Nicolas Sarkozy, just elected President of the French Republic.[14]

African Empire

In 2009, a report by Benoît Collombat, Cameroon, the black empire of Vincent Bolloré, leads to a defamation lawsuit, won by Vincent Bolloré in 2010.[15]

In 2016, he is unsuccessful in a defamation complaint against the newspaper Bastamag, which had described "catastrophic" human rights conditions on the plantations in Liberia where "children under the age of 14 work".[16]

On Jan. 24, 2018, several editorial staff from around twenty French media, associations and independent journalists signed a letter to denounce the methods of Vincent Bolloré, accused of putting pressure on the media, in particular during journalistic investigations into the activities of the Bolloré group in Africa (systematic legal proceedings, suppression of advertising campaigns in the press via Havas, deprogramming or censorship of several Canal + documentaries)[17]. According to the authors of the letter, the Bolloré Group had about fifteen proceedings in progress initiated in France and abroad against journalists or NGOs for "defamation" or "denigration". The signatories of the forum underline that "these systematic prosecutions aim to put pressure, to weaken financially, to isolate any journalist, whistleblower or organization which would highlight the activities and questionable practices of economic giants like the Bolloré Group"[18].

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  6. Fiorina Capozzi, "Vincent Bolloré, the new king of European media", Goware-Key4biz, 2016
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