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Vincent Bolloré

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Vincent Bolloré
EducationLycée Janson-de-Sailly
Alma materParis Nanterre University
TitleChairman and CEO, Bolloré
SpouseAnaïs Jeanneret

Vincent Bolloré (French pronunciation: [vɛ̃sɑ̃ bɔlɔʁe]) is a French billionaire businessman. He was the chairman and CEO of the investment group Bolloré until his retirement from the family business in 2022. In September 2023, his net worth was estimated at US$8.6 billion.

Early life and education[edit]

Vincent Bolloré was born in Boulogne-Billancourt.

He attended the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly, before graduating with an arts degree from Université Paris X Nanterre. Bolloré started his career as an investment bank trainee at Edmond de Rothschild.[1]


Bolloré's personal investment career began when he took over at his family-controlled conglomerate Bolloré,[2] which deals in maritime freight and African trade, and paper manufacturing (cigarette and bible paper). Bolloré employs 33,000 people worldwide. He is a well-known corporate raider in France who has succeeded in making money by taking large stakes in French listed companies, in particular the building and construction group Bouygues, where he left with a sizeable capital gain after a power struggle. He pulled a similar move with French video game company Ubisoft, owning an approximate 27% stake in the company in 2016, before Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot maneuvered a deal to have a coalition of Tencent Games, among other companies, to buy out Bolloré's shares for about $2.45 billion.[3][4]

In late 2004, his investment group started building a stake in advertising group Havas, becoming its largest single shareholder. He mounted a coup and replaced Alain de Pouzilhac as CEO in July 2005. In 2005, through his family company, he expanded his media interests by launching the Direct 8 television station. Towards the end of 2005, he began building a stake in independent British media planning and buying group, Aegis. As of July 2006, his stake in Aegis stood at 29%.[5] Direct Soir [fr], a free newspaper, was launched in June 2006.[6][7] The newspaper, along with Matin Plus, the free morning edition also run by the Bolloré Group, was criticized for presenting an overly rosy picture of African leaders who partnered with Bolloré's conglomerate.[8] In November 2010, the administrative court of Paris ordered an immediate end to the contract between the RATP and the Bolloré Group allowing the latter to distribute Direct Matin and Direct Soir using newsracks in the Paris subway.[9] The following month Direct Soir ceased publication, due to the evening return from work being spread out over several hours, in contrast to the morning rush hour when papers could be handed out more efficiently.[10]

In January 2008, he showed interest in becoming a shareholder of famed, but troubled, Italian car manufacturer Pininfarina. [citation needed] In 2014, as Vivendi president he decided to invest in the Italian telecom company Telecom Italia and in the Italian broadcaster Mediaset, controlled by Berlusconi family's holding company Fininvest.[11]

The Bolloré Group also has important positions in the economies of several former French colonies in Africa (in particular Ivory Coast, Gabon, Cameroon, and Congo).[12][13][14] On 24 April 2018, Bolloré was brought into custody for questioning concerning perceived links between discount rates for political consulting (through Havas) and port concessions in Lomé, Togo; and Conakry, Guinea. He was subsequently indicted for "corruption of foreign agents", "falsification of documents", and "complicity in breach of trust".[15][16] If found guilty, he could face a maximum fine of €1 million and up to 10 years' imprisonment.[17][needs update]

As a result of the Universal Music Group IPO at Euronext Amsterdam, Bolloré came to hold 18 percent of UMG shares.[18]

He officially retired as chair of the family business on 17 February 2022.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Yannick Bolloré is his son.

In 2021 Bolloré was the companion of Anaïs Jeanneret, a French writer.[20]

According to Bloomberg, he was among the 250 wealthiest people on the planet with an estimated fortune of US$8.6 billion in 2023.[21][22]

He is a close personal friend of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It has been said that their friendship goes back over 20 years.[23] Sarkozy has been criticized for accepting vacations from Bolloré,[24] as was president Georges Pompidou with his father, Michel Bolloré.[23] They have both stated that no conflict of interest exists.[citation needed]

Media engagement[edit]

Bolloré has been investing massively in media for several years. He is the main shareholder of the Vivendi media group, which holds a 10-percent stake in Universal Music Group (Bolloré himself owns directly another 18%) in addition to numerous TV stations and newspapers.[25] In 2022 he has also bought the largest private radio station in France, Europe 1 in time for the 2022 French presidential election.[25][26] A 2022 essay in The New York Times highlighted Bolloré's media influence, noting the prominence given to far-right, "proto-fascist" politician Éric Zemmour by television news channel CNews.[27]


In April 2016, Bolloré launched a defamation law suit against the newspaper Bastamag, which had described "catastrophic" human rights conditions on plantations in Liberia where "children under 14" were working.[28][29]

In January 2021, Bolloré and two other Bolloré executives pleaded guilty at a Paris court for supplying €370,000 worth of communication services to president of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, during their presidential campaigns.[30] He attempted to deny the charges at first, but his defense was "turned against him" instead, which caused him to admit his guilt despite initial denial.[31]

Since September 2022, Bolloré's channel C8 has been the subject of several controversies concerning its integrity, evidence being found that the presenters and guests on the channel were being ordered what to say. The inflammatory language used in its program TPMP was criticised, with the channel being sanctioned 3.5M€ for having publicly insulted a France Insoumise deputy.[32] The insults were directed at the deputy right after the deputy cited Bolloré as one of the ultra wealthy people who have been making the French suffer in poverty, and his businesses causing deforestation.[33]


  1. ^ "Vincent Bollore". Forbes. Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Stocks". Bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Vivendi's Attempt At A Hostile Takeover Of Ubisoft Is Over". Kotaku. 20 March 2018. Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  4. ^ Adrien Lelièvre (21 March 2018). "Ubisoft : Yves Guillemot, l'homme qui a fait plier Vincent Bolloré". Les Echos (in French).
  5. ^ "Aegis' Major Shareholders". Hemscott Group Ltd. 19 July 2006. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2006.
  6. ^ Nathalie Silbert (3 July 2006). "Bolloré tire un bilan positif des débuts de « Direct Soir »". Les Echos (in French).
  7. ^ Emmanuelle Anizon (3 November 2007). "Le raz de marée Vincent Bolloré". Telerama (in French).
  8. ^ Thomas Deltombe (April 2009). "Les guerres africaines de Vincent Bolloré". Le Monde diplomatique (in French).
  9. ^ "Le tribunal administratif de Paris a enjoint la RATP de retirer le journal gratuit Direct des couloirs du métro". francetvinfo.fr (in French). 26 November 2010.
  10. ^ Alexandre Joux (September 2011). "Guerre des gratuits : la course à l'audience entre Direct Matin et 20 Minutes conduit à la prise de contrôle de Metro par TF1". la-rem.eu (in French).
  11. ^ Fiorina Capozzi, "Vincent Bolloré, the new king of European media" Archived 29 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Goware-Key4biz, 2016
  12. ^ Martine Orange (2 February 2009). "Enquête sur la face cachée de l'empire Bolloré". Mediapart (in French). Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  13. ^ Thomas Deltombe (1 April 2009). "Port, rail, plantations : le triste bilan de Bolloré au Cameroun". Le Monde diplomatique (in French). Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  14. ^ Fanny Pigeaud (11 March 2008). "Les Camerounais exploités des palmeraies de Bolloré". Libération (in French). Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  15. ^ Simon Piel; Joan Tilouine (25 April 2018). "Concessions portuaires en Afrique : Vincent Bolloré mis en examen". Le Monde. Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  16. ^ Waleckx, Tristan; Rénier, Matthieu (21 July 2016). Prix Albert-Londres 2017 - Vincent Bolloré, un ami qui vous veut du bien ? (video). Complément d'enquête (in French). France Télévisions. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  17. ^ Cécile De Sèze (26 April 2018). "Mis en examen, que risque Vincent Bolloré?". RTL. Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Universal hits massive valuation of $54bn as it lists on Amsterdam Stock Exchange". Music Business Worldwide. 21 September 2021. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  19. ^ Faure, Valentine (24 January 2024). "The Fox News of France". Nieman Reports. Retrieved 18 May 2024.
  20. ^ Leduc, Pauline (30 January 2021). "Anaïs Jeanneret sort de l'ombre". LExpress.fr (in French). Retrieved 18 May 2024.
  21. ^ Bloomberg Billionaire Index. "Vincent Bollore profile page on Bloomberg.com". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  22. ^ "Vincent Bolloré: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". investing.businessweek.com. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  23. ^ a b "Bolloré, un financier avec qui copiner". Libération. 10 May 2007.
  24. ^ "L'escape de M. Sarkozy suscite de vives critiques". Le Monde. 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 13 November 2022. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  25. ^ a b tagesschau.de. "Vincent Bolloré: Frankreichs mächtiger Medienmogul". tagesschau.de (in German). Archived from the original on 29 January 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  26. ^ "Actualités des médias et personnalités médiatiques - Challenges". www.challenges.fr. Archived from the original on 28 January 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  27. ^ Stetler, Harrison (7 April 2022). "The Man at the Center of the French Election Isn't Even on the Ballot". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  28. ^ "SOCFIN's plantations in Africa: Many places of violence and destruction | World Rainforest Movement".
  29. ^ "Bolloré utilise-t-il les poursuites judiciaires pour faire taire les journalistes ? | les Inrocks".
  30. ^ Ledy, Nephthali Messanh (26 February 2021). "Bolloré reconnaît avoir payé des dépenses de communication de Faure Gnassingbé". Financial Afrik (in French). Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  31. ^ "Corruption au Togo : Vincent Bolloré demande à la Cour de cassation d'annuler toute la procédure". Le Monde.fr (in French). 12 October 2023. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  32. ^ "Affaire Hanouna-Boyard : : C8 condamné à une amende record de 3,5 millions d'euros". www.rtl.fr (in French). 9 February 2023. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  33. ^ @LeDevBreton (10 November 2022). "Séquence (quasi) intégrale de Louis Boyard chez Hanouna dans #TPMP" (Tweet) (in French). Retrieved 7 December 2023 – via Twitter.

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