Cyril Bourlon de Rouvre
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|Cyril Bourlon de Rouvre|
|Born||Bourlon de Rouvre
19 December 1945
|Alma mater||Lycée Janson-de-Sailly
Institut polytechnique des sciences avancées
|Occupation||Businessman and politician|
|Known for||Team principal Ligier|
Education and early career
Son of Évrard Bourlon de Rouvre, an industrialist, and his wife Claude Genty, Cyril Bourlon de Rouvre is the heir of sugar refineries and the landed property of his great-grandfather, Charles Bourlon de Rouvre (1850-1924), himself stepson of one of the richest men at the end of the 19th century, Gustave Lebaudy.
After studies at the collège Maspero in Paris, then at the collège Saint-Martin de France in Pontoise, the Oratory School in Reading, the Collège Saint-Jean in Fribourg and at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly, Cyril Bourlon de Rouvre studied electrical engineering at Jussieu before graduating as an aerospace engineer at the Institut polytechnique des sciences avancées.
He first worked at Électricité de France before serving his conscription and started his career as a sales engineer at the Elliot Automation company (1966-1968) before being Director of export of the Sucre Union company (1971-1973). He was business manager of the sales support department of the Lara audiovisual company (1973), then commercial agent in the audiovisual (1974-1975) and associate director at the Auto Racing company (1977).
A young and dynamic business leader
In 1979, upon the death of his father (who was murdered by his valet), he inherited large real estate holdings, a sugar refinery and 28 companies. He became CEO of Financière Robur et de Cofragec (1982-1992), Coficine (1984-1992) and many other companies.
He modernized the sugar factory and his inheritance prospered, taking, in 1981, control of the holding Fraissinet, owner of the business airline Transair. In 1987, he started a new career in film distribution by acquiring, from the producer Robert Dorfmann, by one of its companies, the Financière Robur, Cofragec company with its catalog of 650 films including La Grande Vadrouille or La Vache et le Prisonnier. He produced movies including La Nuit bengali (1988) of Nicolas Klotz, Les Deux Fragonard (1989) of Philippe Le Guay, and La Peste (1992) of Luis Puenzo. He also invested in real estate, including a hotel in Tahiti.
Political life in Haute-Marne and investment in Formula 1
In 1989, he started a political career in Haute-Marne, a department where which his grandfather Charles de Rouvre was a deputy during the Third Republic. He was elected mayor of Chaumont, as an independent (classified as miscellaneous right) against the centrist senator and mayor Georges Berchet, and regional councilor for the Champagne-Ardenne region (1992-1998).
He takes his team, as an alderman, a man of 25 years, Luc Chatel, becoming in fact the first « political godfather ».
Owner of the Formula 1 team AGS from March 1989 to 1991, he swallowed $ 18 million and began selling activities of his group, about 70 companies: First Transair, then the sugar factory, sold to the Compagnie de Navigation Mixte, and in 1992, the catalog of movies, lent to UGC in the form of a merger. In 1991, he gives AGS the Italians Gabriele Rafanelli and Patrizio Cantu.
In 1992, Cyril de Rouvre bought the Formula 1 team Ligier for an estimated price of 200 million of francs. With its new owner, the team started to again be competitive - the 1993 season was a success, with a 5th place in the constructor's championship (the team's best result since 1986). But the involvement of Cyril de Rouvre lasted only one season because of legal troubles.
The legal troubles and the decline
The 14 December 1993, the judge Eva Joly incarcerated him at the Fleury-Mérogis Prison, as part of a complaint for fraud filed by the leaders of UGC, Guy Verrecchia and Alain Sussfeld, following the takeover in June 1992 the company Cofragec. This company has been emptied of its assets, leaving a liability estimated at 172.6 million francs. Cyril de Rouvre had promised to repay this sum at the end of 1992 but at that time, he still had 100 million. On 5 May 1993, leaders of UGC have filed a complaint against him. He spent two months in prison.
He lost the mayoralty of Chaumont at the French municipal elections of 1995.
In 1996, a judicial investigation was opened against him at the Tribunal de grande instance of Chaumont. He appeared before the Criminal Court of this city in September 1999 for tax evasion. Knowing that the prosecution had requested a sentence of three years imprisonment and a 20-year ban on company management, he was sentenced on 19 December 1999, his birthday, to a suspended sentence of 18 months imprisonment' a ban from managing a company for 3 years, and a large fine.