French Daily is Thrown a Spanish Lifeline

09 March 2005

Ailing French daily newspaper, Le Monde, has been offered a tonic for its troubles by a Spanish media group.

Prisa has offered to inject around €25 million ($33m, £17m) into the centre-left, Paris-based paper in return for a stake of between 13% and 15%.

Madrid-based Prisa, the publisher of Spain's top selling daily, El Pais, is the country's largest media group and has interests in pay-TV, radio and book publishing. Last month it reported record annual profits of €103m, up 70%, thanks partly to a fourth-quarter surge in advertising revenues.

The French media and defense group Lagardere SA has also offered to invest €25m in Le Monde, which has been battling with falling advertising revenues and sliding circulation, leading to a loss of €25m in 2003.

Staff at Le Monde are expected to vote on the plan this week. A vote in favour will inevitably lead to job cuts and raises concerns over the future editorial independence of the paper.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff