Russian billionaire bids for Le Monde: report

22nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Russian billionaire banker has entered a bid to take over debt-ridden French broadsheet Le Monde, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday.

Gleb Fetisov, the owner of Moi Bank banking group, told Kommersant daily that he had made a bid for a controlling stake in Le Monde.

"For me, this deal is first of all a business project. I intend to develop the newspaper and remain the owner of a controlling share," Fetisov told Kommersant.

Fetisov came number 42 in Forbes magazine's list of Russia's richest in 2010, with a fortune of 1.6 billion dollars.

Le Monde, which is currently owned by its journalists, announced plans to sell earlier this month, amid debts of 100 million euros (120 million dollars).

On Monday it announced two takeover offers from France Telecom subsidiary Orange and a consortium led by Pierre Berge, ex-partner of late fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent.

French daily France Soir was bought last year by Alexander Pugachev, the son of Russian billionaire and senator Sergei Pugachev.

© 2010 AFP

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