03 May 2000

In bygone days the best-selling daily newspaper in France, ailing tabloid FranceSoir yesterday announced a recapitalisation that will admit foreign shareholders for the first time. The decision comes little more than a year after the paper was rescued from closure by media entrepreneur Georges Ghosn.

Presse Alliance, publisher of FranceSoir, said that a 15% stake had already been sold for an unstated sum to listed Italian publishing group Poligrafici Editoriale, along with an option to acquire another 15% by September. If the option is taken up, the newspaper will benefit from a cash injection estimated at FFr45m ($6.2m). It will be used to develop an internet strategy.

Meantime, FranceSoiris on course to post a deficit of FFr70m for the year to June 2000 – halving last year’s losses.

Financial Times