Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky lends 14 million euros to "Liberation"


It will therefore be 14 million euros. According to the information circulating since the end of the summer, the boss of the Czech media group Czech Media Invest (CMI), Daniel Kretinsky (who is also an indirect shareholder of the World) flies to the aid of Release. However, contrary to the figures that accompanied the rumor, the sum put on the table does not flirt with twenty million euros. The Energy Tycoon's Group “will subscribe to a bond for a maximum amount of 14 million euros, repayable in four years, issued by Independent Press SAS, the structure owned by FDPI [Fonds de dotation pour une presse indépendante] and possessing Release », detailed Denis Olivennes, the president of the SAS independent press holding company, in a communication to employees. An extraordinary CSE was convened urgently on Tuesday, September 20 in the morning to formalize with elected officials the arrival of this new " partner ".

"Although we have halved the newspaper's losses in 2021, and by almost 25% at the end of August 2022, we still need money to support our return to equilibrium, expected in 2026", recalled the leader. In 2021, the daily's losses amounted to 7.9 million euros, compared to 12 million in 2020. Despite this encouraging trend, the deadline to break even, initially set at 2023, has become out of reach. scope since the health crisis and the increase in the price of paper entered the economy.

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Reinforced employee vigilance

The now former co-manager of Release (Denis Olivennes handed over the function to Amandine Bascoul-Romeu at the start of the summer) says he has turned "naturally" towards Mr. Kretinsky – after having presided over CMI France, he is still one of its administrators – when a successor to Patrick Drahi had to be found. The boss of Altice no longer wanted to put money back into the daily newspaper which he had placed, in 2020, in the Endowment Fund for an Independent Press, supposed to guarantee the independence of the newspaper.

Beyond these 14 million, the industrialist has "Agreed with FDPI for its foundation to support the action of the latter, which would notably take the form of a donation of one million euros and representation on the board of directors of the fund". By linking its charitable organization EP Corporate Group to the endowment fund that owns Independent Press SAS and, ultimately, Releasethe boss of CMI (Marianne, She, Mavericketc.), which assures in a statement "believe in the future" of Releasethus obtains a post of administrator.

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