Billionaire Daniel Křetínský is satisfied with the position of minority owner of the French daily Le Monde. He wants to support a letter with a long tradition and would not interfere with the operation of the editorial office, even if he would take over a majority stake in the future. One of the wealthiest Czechs told the American newspaper The New York Times (NYT). He also described the purchase of Le Monde as a way to promote stronger regulation of Facebook or Google.
Last October, Křetínský acquired a 13 percent stake in Le Monde and associated publications when Matthieu Pigasse, a banker, sold him a 49 percent stake in Le Nouveau Monde (LNM). In March, the Financial Times (FT) wrote that journalists from the French diary are trying to prevent Křetínský from taking control of their letter.
According to NYT, the fact that after last year’s purchase of the weekly magazine Marianne Křetínský, he has added conservative commentator Natacha Polony to the concerns of employees. Some editors also mention the lack of transparency of the Czech entrepreneur’s entry into the parent company.
“The problem is that we didn’t know about it in an official way, which is the worst option if you want to win our trust,” said editor-in-chief Le Monde.
In an interview with NYT, Křetínský assured that he would never try to disturb the values and spirit of the editorial office, even if he gained control of the diary. He is satisfied with the minority share for the moment, he says.
“Our intention is to (daily) support and one day to take a seat at the table and participate in interviews,” he said. “You can’t go to Paris for one day in a month and think you can be the only shareholder in Le Monde. I would be very pleased to be in that position, and if we needed support, we would have done it with great pleasure.”