This is the last big move of the richest of Marseille shipowners. Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of CMA-CGM, the most profitable company in France which recently bought the Bolloré Group's logistics activities for 5 billion euros, is about to take over the economic daily La Tribune. According to the press release published this Friday morning by CMA-CGM confirming the information of Europe 1, its subsidiary CMA-CGM Media, which groups its holdings in the media, will buy the shares of the shareholder and president of the media, Jean-Christophe Tortora. Informed by their management a few minutes before the publication of the official statement, the 90 employees (including 40 journalists) of the Tribune have, them, "fallen into their chair", slips to the Figaro a journalist.
Rodolphe Saadé's relatives have repeatedly said in recent months that the businessman, beyond Provence was only interested in small financial participations in the capital of certain media, "slips an expert in the sector. "The acquisition today of the daily La Tribune, influential in the business community across the territory, finally reveals its true ambitions," he said.
Since his acquisition of the Marseille daily La Provence last September, after long months of stormy offensives against the founder of Free Xavier Niel, Rodolphe Saadé is part of all the media battles. Not a day goes by without CMA-CGM Médias, led since March by Laurent Guimier, looking for new opportunities.
He set foot in M6 last December by crossing the threshold of 5% of the capital of the subsidiary of the German Bertelsmann. Since then, the Marseille shipowner has risen to more than 8% by buying shares on the market and he has joined the supervisory board of the chain. During its raising of 40 million euros in early April, the online video media Brut had announced in the columns of Le Figaro the entry into the capital of the Marseille shipowner controlled by Rodolphe Saadé.
Read alsoWhy Bolloré sells its logistics to CMA CGM for 5 billion euros
New chapter for La Tribune
After thirty-eight years of existence, La Tribune is opening a new chapter in its history. Bruno Bertez, the Expansion group, Georges Ghosn, LVMH, Alain Weill... The economic daily has seen many owners over the years. Jean-Christophe Tortora, accompanied later by Franck Julien (Atalian group) and Laurent Alexandre (founder of Doctissimo and several high-tech companies), ended up taking it over ten years ago at the bar of the Paris Commercial Court.
The paper newspaper had gradually disappeared over the years, in favor of a massive investment in digital as well as a deployment in the territories and in the regions. Defining itself today as "the economic medium of transformations and territories", it has some 20,000 subscribers to its site where 70 to 80% of content is offered by paying (from 100 to 400 euros per year depending on the formula). The goal is to double this subscriber portfolio by 2025. Now, the press group is pushing its pawns in French-speaking Africa. A first subsidiary was opened three years ago in Casablanca, Morocco and a new establishment is planned in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire before 2025, the year in which La Tribune will celebrate its 40th anniversary. The press group claims a turnover of 13 million euros in 2022, for an Ebitda (gross operating surplus) of 400,000 euros, according to its president Jean-Christophe Tortora.