“La Provence”, commenting on the battle between Rudolph Saada and Xavier Niel

► Why is recovery likely to be delayed more?

“exhausted”journalist from Provence He admits that he is no longer following the multiple bounces in the acquisition of the 89% stake of Bernard Tapie, who died on October 3, 2021, in the regional press group that oversees the daily newspapers. Provence And the Corsica Morning. “There is a real concern, because these newspapers are losing readers and need investment”It sums up, tired.

Initially, the journalist thought that Xavier Niel, president of Free, who is already a shareholder in the group (with 11%) and “head of media”, would be preferable to Rodolphe Saadé, chief owner of the ship CMA-CGM, “ultra strong” in the economy of Marseille, and a novice in journalism. intersyndicale wanted to compare the two shows and submit them for an editorial vote. But “A court decision stipulated that employee representatives would only be consulted when the best offer was made”remembers Eric Britton, SNJ rep for Provence.

On May 9, 2022, the Group’s Board of Directors approved the proposal of CMA-CGM, the best social bidder at the end with €81 million (compared to €20 million for its competitor), with the support of liquidators, unions and CEO of the Jean-Christophe Servati group.

Xavier Niel, as a minority shareholder, has a veto against any new entrant, but the judicial liquidator argued in court that there is “Conflict of interest” Because he himself was a candidate for salvation. This judicial series saw a new development on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 with a request by Xavier Niel to challenge the Board of Directors’ endorsement of the shipowner’s bid in Marseille. While the newspaper’s sale on June 7, 2022 must be examined by the Bobigny Commercial Court, employees do not know if this action will delay the sale.

► What are the available offers?

The CFDT of Provence-Alpes, in a press release published on Wednesday, calls for “Leave to Provence Opportunity to have a buyer who knows his trade »Wondering about the possibility “Forced passage CMA-CGM and the liquidator, with common interests, to obtain Board approval for the vessel owner’s offer”.

In fact, only the CMA-CGM presentation is detailed. Rodolphe Saade, heir to Marseille founder Jacques Saade, put 81 million euros on the table to buy the press group (a large part of which will go to pay off Bernard Tapie’s state debts in the Credit Lyonnais case) four times its value. It will invest approximately 50 million additional in digital marketing and development, in particular by increasing the number of videos and addressing young people on Tik Tok or Twitch.

→ Read. In Marseille, journalists have become “newscasters” in working-class neighbourhoods

If Rodolphe Saadé is looking for an assembly in terms of logistics with CMA-CGM, Xavier Niel, the largest contributor to beautiful morning, it is proposed to build a modern printing factory between Marseille and Nice. At the beginning of February, he had estimated that his investment, other than the sale price, could reach 50 million.

What guarantees editorial independence?

At the heart of the editorial board’s concerns, the title’s independence divides and unites the unions. Would love CFDT, who did not give a positive opinion on the CMA-CGM offering “The buyer is selected on the basis of the criteria of sustainability and independence of the activity”. She is concerned that the shipowner’s proposal has too much public support from the economic players in Bouches-du-Rhône and questions the “The links between the political world and this potential investor”.

→ Read. Former Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebari denied boarding the CMA-CGM plane

“Rodolphe Saadeh pledged to grant guarantees of independence to the editorial board”, identifies Eric Breton, SNJ, noting that an Independence Charter should be drafted regardless of the buyer. All unions pledge to be vigilant on this point. “Right now we would like to take a course, install on buyer before summer, and maintain employment”Chosen one concludes.

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