03 May 2000

One of France’s best known business leaders, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, currently chairman of Adidas and a former chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, is to rejoin the Louis-Dreyfus private family conglomerate as chairman of its pan-European broadband communications division.

Louis- Dreyfus Communications, founded in 1998, has already laid more than 3,000km of fibre-optic cable in France, with interconnections in Germany, the UK and Belgium. It also plans to build a number of internet centres across Europe, having opened its Paris centre last October. Another, in Lyons, will be launched later this month.

The company’s fast growing European network and urban fibre-optic rings (known as ‘metropolitan rings’) anticipate the imminent demand for high bandwidth applications such as video – all of which require higher capacity and transmission speeds than are possible on existing networks. A formal announcement of the prodigal’s homecoming is expected today.

Financial Times