Indigo Publications

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Indigo Publications
Industry Subscription newsletters and websites
Founded 1981
Founder Maurice Botbol
Headquarters Paris
Revenue €3.4 million (2013)

Indigo Publications is a French company that publishes numerous trade newsletters and websites, mostly dedicated to specialized business sectors.


Indigo Publications was established in Paris in 1981.[1] Founder Maurice Botbol assembled a small team of investigative journalists dedicated to economic news. Botbol serves as director of Indigo Publications and was President of the Syndicat presse indépendante d' information en ligne (Union of the Independent Press Information Online).[2] Indigo is a French media group serving a global audience, but hangs its credibility on remaining editorially independent: as Botbol explains, "We are not culturally partisan, either toward France's interests nor those of the third world.... We are very careful not to have any 'national' positioning."[3]:145

The Indian Ocean Newsletter was the first Indigo publication, focused on the business interests of East and southern Africa and the Indian Ocean states. Over the years, the company launched other regional titles including the economic newsletter for Francophone Africa, La Lettre du Continent (and its English equivalent, West Africa Newsletter); the North African newspaper Maghreb Confidential; and more specialized business publications like Africa Mining Intelligence and Intelligence Online. In 2007, Indigo acquired La Lettre A, a newsletter established in 1978 that specializes in news and analysis of politics and business in France. In April 2011, Indigo launched an online spinoff of La Lettre A called Entourages.[citation needed]

The company functions as a SARL (société à responsabilité limitée), with headquarters in Paris on the rue Montmartre.[1]

Value-added tax audit controversy[edit]

On December 16, 2013, Indigo Publications and another French digital publisher, Mediapart, were audited by the French Inland Revenue Service over Value-added tax (VAT).[4][5][6] The VAT rate for online news was 19.6% (20% starting in 2014), while that of traditional media was 2.1%, a disparity that had been in place since 2009.[7][8][9] The companies contested the higher rate, and on January 31, 2015, in a ruling opposed by the European Commission, but consistent with the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the French Budget Ministry issued taxing instructions, and a law was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly on February 4, and by the Senate on February 17, 2014, granting equality of tax treatment between traditional print and digital press.[2][8][10]


Indigo publishes six news websites and 16 specialized newsletters. Since 1995, Indigo Publications has implemented a digital development strategy, and went with all digital publication of Intelligence Online and all the company's Africa publications, on the Africa Intelligence website in April 2013.[11] As of January 2016, all publications are now 100% digital.

Intelligence Online[edit]

Intelligence Online, formerly Intelligence Newsletter, reports on and analyses secret diplomacy, parallel operations and conflicts around the world, focusing on the role of government intelligence agencies, corporate intelligence firms and lobby groups. It also investigates money-laundering, political instability, terrorism, espionage and organized crime in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Pierre Gastineau is the Editor-in-Chief.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter[edit]

The Indian Ocean Newsletter is a newsletter-style publication covering the business and economies of East Africa and the Indian Ocean states. It provides news and analysis of the region's business communities and economic affairs, as well as related political issues. The newsletter has been published fortnightly since 1981. Tristan Coloma is the editor-in-chief.

Africa Mining Intelligence[edit]

Africa Mining Intelligence is a specialist publication for the mining industry in Africa. Africa Mining Intelligence covers the mining business, reporting on deals in the sector, the business strategies of the key players and on the policies of governments and state-owned mining companies. It also provides detailed background information about the sector's movers and shakers. It has been published fortnightly since 2000. Gaëlle Arenson is the Editor-in-Chief.

West Africa Newsletter[edit]

West Africa Newsletter, and its French-language version, La Lettre du Continent, are newsletter-style publications focused on business and economic affairs in French-speaking West and Central Africa. The newsletter covers the activities of the region's business communities, while its "Corridors of Power" section provides news and analysis of national and international politics. It has been published fortnightly since 1985. Frederic Lejeal has been the Editor-in-Chief since the retirement of its founder, journalist Antoine Glaser, in 2010.[12]

Maghreb Confidential[edit]

Maghreb Confidential is a newsletter specializing in North African politics and business. It has been published each week since 1990. Maghreb Confidential provides news and expert analysis of the evolving economic, political and diplomatic situation in North Africa, examining the public and less visible activities of the most influential players in politics and business and reporting on the latest business negotiations and deals. Lazare Beullac is the Editor-in-Chief of Maghreb Confidential.

La Lettre A[edit]

La Lettre A (The letter A) is dedicated to the political, economic and media news in France. Marion Deye is the Editor-in-Chief of La Lettre A.


PresseNews is a bi-monthly newsletter focused on the French media and press companies. Guillaume Fischer is the Editor-in-Chief of PresseNews.


  1. ^ a b "Indigo Publications SARL". Bloomberg Business News. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Courleux, Jean-Louis (24 February 2014). "Maurice Botbol, directeur d' Indigo Publications, Pdt du Syndicat presse indépendante d' information en ligne. Spiil. Journée presse en ligne." [Maurice Botbol, director of Indigo Publications, President of the Union of Independent Press Information Online (SPIIL) Online Media Day.] (in French). Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Philippe Baumard (26 July 1999). Tacit Knowledge in Organizations. SAGE Publications. pp. 139–154. ISBN 978-0-85702-196-0. 
  4. ^ Grenier, Frantz (18 December 2013). "Le Fisc lance un contrôle fiscal sur Mediapart et Indigo Publications" [The IRS launches a tax audit on Mediapart and Indigo Publications]. Journal du Net (in French). CCM Benchmark. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "TVA : l'État est hors-la-loi !" [VAT: the state is off-the-law!] (in French). SYNDICAT DE LA PRESSE INDÉPENDANTE D'INFORMATION EN LIGNE. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Plenel, Edwy (17 December 2013). "L'Etat s'attaque à la presse en ligne" [The state tackles the online press]. Mediapart (in French). Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Contrôle fiscal pour Mediapart qui dénonce une " attaque illégitime "" [Tax audit for Mediapart, which denounces it as an "unlawful attack"]. Le Monde (in French). 18 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "TVA : le gouvernement donne gain de cause à la presse en ligne, contre Bruxelles" [VAT: the government is successful in the online press, against Brussels]. Contexte (in French). Background SAS. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Résultats 2013 d'Indigo Publications Une forte rentabilité, portée par les développements numériques" [Results 2013 Indigo Publications Strong profitability, driven by digital development] (PDF) (Press release) (in French). 25 April 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Nduku, Agatha (28 April 2014). "Indigo Publications reports profit increase on back of digital strategy". HumanIPO. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Murison, Katharine, ed. (2003). Africa South of the Sahara 2004 (33 ed.). London: Europa Publications. p. 1416. ISBN 9781857431834. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 


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