France Soir receives bids from interested buyers

28th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 27, 2006 (AFP) - A French newspaper at the heart of the Danish cartoons row has received six bids from interested buyers, including an offer from a French-Algerian businessman, a commercial court said Monday.

PARIS, Feb 27, 2006 (AFP) - A French newspaper at the heart of the Danish cartoons row has received six bids from interested buyers, including an offer from a French-Algerian businessman, a commercial court said Monday.

The paper, France Soir, has been in receivership since October 31 and the court in Lille, northern France, said it would announce the winning bid on March 16.

France Soir was the first newspaper outside Denmark and Norway to print all 12 of the satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which sparked sometimes deadly protests across the Muslim world.

On February 1, the paper published a cartoon of Mohammed on its front page, insisting it had the right to caricature God in order to defend freedom of expression.

Founded in 1944, France Soir was one of France's most successful newspapers in the post-war period. It evolved out of a clandestine publication started by the French Resistance to become the only French title to pass the million-copy mark, with an average of 1,115,000 copies sold daily in 1961.

Since then, France Soir, today competing against 11 other national dailies, has seen its circulation collapse from 520,000 in 1975 to 228,900 in 1990, to just 45,000 today.

Former editors, journalists and businessmen were among the list of six bidders, which included Prosper Amouyal, a French-Algerian businessman who specialises in buying ailing companies.

Amouyal offered to pay 520,000 euros (616,000 dollars) and invest 3.0-5.0 million euros.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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