1. Red carpet
It was rolled under the feet of the Czech billionaire Yves de Chaisemartin who sold him "Marianne", Arnaud Lagardère who is giving him a bunch of magazines ("Elle", "Version Femina", "Télé 7 Jours" …). And now Matthieu Pigasse who introduces him to the "World". Kretinsky has even been on the verge of doing the grand slam since Pigasse was ready to sell him, discreetly, the entirety of his stake in the group Le Monde, before sticking to 49%.
At this stage, control of Le Monde remains unchanged, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse remain co-managers in a limited partnership. Kretinsky is waiting in the antechamber. In front of the representatives of the "World", on October 25, Pigasse affirmed that there was no automatic clause providing for the future sale of shares. Without excluding that Kretinsky can, in the future, increase its participation.
Faced with the "Point" which evokes the evaluation of "Forbes" -2.5 billion dollars – it rectifies: "I think my wealth is a bit higher. " Kretinsky, 43, has the full gamut of the billionaire: the football club AC Sparta Prague; paintings (a Kokoschka in particular); a 22-meter catamaran registered in Panama, which earned it a mention in the Panama Papers; investments in the press and the discourse that goes with it: supporting the press is "a citizen decision".
His law studies led him, for a semester, to the University of Dijon. He speaks our language perfectly, which subjugates his interlocutors. His mother, a judge at the Constitutional Court, has, it is said, transmitted the love of France. He even set up his Prague offices in Parizska, the rue de Paris, that is to say … Who, after that, would dare to doubt his attachment to the country of Voltaire?
It was introduced in France by the consultant Etienne Bertier who spawned with three worlds in his career: the press as a journalist (at "Expansion", "Libé", "Point"), politics (in Bercy), the business (EDF, privatization of the real estate group Icade). Bertier is now director of "Marianne".
What is his vision of Europe? Is he eurosceptic like the journalist Natacha Polony, recently appointed head of "Marianne"? In any case, at the recent Globsec summit in Slovakia, he urged Brussels to regulate Google, Facebook and Amazon. This earned him an enthusiastic tweet from the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager.
Very strong and impressive @DKretinsky advocating for new, strong, stable regulations for big tech # TatraSummit2018 … https://t.co/tgbFYZ6l6g
Kretinsky became a media man by buying the Czech subsidiary of a Swiss-German group, which owned the country's leading newspaper, the popular title "Blesk". Good protection against attacks. The comparison with the other papy person, Andrej Babis, populist prime minister who instrumentalises the newspapers he bought for political purposes, is very favorable to him. The press represents a turnover of 122 million euros, slugs compared to energy (4.9 billion).
The interest he shows for the French press remains, to date, an enigma. Present in energy in Italy, Germany and Great Britain, but absent from France, this new media boss seeks to make himself known to the ruling spheres before privatization, including a part of Engie ?
The company EPH, 94% owned by Daniel Kretinsky, is the bête noire of ecologists. The businessman gets rid of – at low cost – of their highly polluting coal plants groups in transition to clean energy. With a simple calculation: these plants are, of course, doomed to disappear, but before their prohibition, they can still be profitable for a while.
His relations with the Russians are scanned. The most obvious is the company Eustream, present in his galaxy, which is thus defined on its website:
"We are the main gateway and the biggest highway for Russian gas in the European Union. "