LONDON: Following a series of protest strikes by journalists concerned for the future editorial independence of French business daily Les Echos, its UK owner Pearson Group has agreed neutrality safeguards with imminent purchaser, luxury brands group LVMH.

The agreement provides for an eleven-member supervisory board, three of whom would be independents. Les Echos editor-in-chief would also sit on the board.

Moreover, no staff cuts will be made for at least three years and existing staff terms and conditions will remain in situ for at least five years.

The editor-in-chief role will be assumed by the paper's present deputy editor Erik Israelewicz in September. He replaces the retiring Jacques Barraux.

Under the terms of the deal, neither Israelewicz nor his successors can be dismissed by the supervisory board without the approval of the two independent members.

Any future editor-in-chief will be nominated by LVMH although the supervisory board retains the power to veto the nomination.

In a joint statement, the two parties declared: "LVMH and Pearson believe that these arrangements provide a sound foundation for the continuing journalistic and commercial success of Les Echos."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff