The only daily newspaper in Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana, has been placed in liquidation at the end of January. Xavier Niel hopes for a recovery in April.
France-Antilles will be reborn from its ashes. The tribunal de commerce, Fort-de-France validated Tuesday the takeover offer from the business man Xavier Niel, which will be able to resume the only daily newspaper in Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana, put into liquidation at the end of January.
The company NJJ, personal holding of Xavier Niel, has proposed in early march to resume the three editions of the daily and keep 126 of 235 employees of the group. The court validated the takeover offer, following the opinion of the advocate general, who had said a week ago in favor of the proposal of the offer of the businessman, considered to be "strong economically". The goal of the businessman is to be able to restart the daily in April.
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"I welcome this decision, which should allow the Antilles and Guiana to regain access to a regional daily press of great quality," responded the minister of overseas Annick Girardin. "To defend and preserve a free press and diverse and in our overseas territories, it is, above all, defend the democratic life", she added.
Xavier Niel had made known his intentions of resuming the three editions of the daily off period, after the liquidation of the newspaper. But on 20 February, the commercial court had exceptionally decided to extend the activity of the group until 10 march, to enable the founder of Free and co-shareholder in the World, who just buy Nice-Matin, to make an offer.
Offer enhanced digital
France-Antilles has ceased to appear since the 1st of February, and the France-French Guyana since the 25th of January. "It is a relief to the staff since the company had already been liquidated. Jobs have been saved," responded Rodolphe Lamy, representative of the employees of the editorial France-Antilles. "There is a high expectation of the public. We must not disappoint our readers. The buyer had planned to resume the activity of the journal in mid-April but given the context of containment, it will be difficult", he added.
The company NJJ said to want to keep a daily edition of the paper edition, but could reduce its pagination. In the west Indies, she plans to centralize printing in Guadeloupe and the transport of logs by boat or plane up in Martinique. For Guyana, the outsourcing of printing and distribution is considered, but the offer would only be digital in the first place.
NJJ also wishes to strengthen the digital offerings of the paper, but also develop the business of event group, via the organisation of festivals or concerts.
The project is estimated at 8 million euros. NJJ puts on the table $ 3.5 million, with the remainder coming from public funding (subsidies from the ministry of Culture and "territorial collectivities of Guadeloupe and Martinique") and a loan Fund for economic and social development.
Read our complete fileXavier Niel completes the acquisition of Nice-Matin and finance a plan of voluntary departures in Crisis in the World : Xavier Niel proposes to "ring-fence" the independence of the newspaper Matthieu Pigasse tries to calm down the employees of the "World"
Created in march 1964, France-Antilles, a former subsidiary of the group Hersant, was in receivership since 25 June 2019.