American private equity group Carlyle has sold its 40% interest in French daily newspaper Le Figaro, reuniting the stake with the other 60% owned by Socpresse, holding company of the Hersant family.

Backing the purchase was Serge Dassault, president of Dassault Aviation and among the richest men in France, who acquired a 30% stake in Socpresse last month for €340 million ($296m; £208m).

Although financial details were not reported, Carlyle said it had made a good return on the FFr4 billion ($533m) it paid for the holding in 1999.

Dassault has been trying to muscle into the French newspaper market for years, unsuccessfully bidding for the 40% Le Figaro stake when it was bought by Carlyle.

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