PARIS – The Dassault group on Saturday denied having any plans to sell Le Figaro newspaper after French media website Mediapart reported that French tycoon Vincent Bollore has started negotiations to gain control of the publication.
“It is total brainwashing. It has never been in the group’s plans to part with Le Figaro,” Rudi Roussilon, a representative for the Dassault group told Reuters when asked about the Mediapart report.
A Bollore spokesman declined to comment.
The Dassault group notably controls Dassault Aviation, maker of the Rafale war planes, as well as Le Figaro.
Bollore controls media group Vivendi, the top shareholder in Lagardere, which in turns owns assets such as Paris Match magazine, Europe 1 radio and the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
In September Vivendi, which already owns 27% of Lagardere, said it had agreed to buy Amber Capital’s 17.9% holding in the company, paving the way for a full takeover.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)