Vincent Bolloré did not choose this date by chance to retire: Thursday, January 17, we celebrate the 200 years of existence of the Bolloré company in Brittany. Where the family adventure began with a simple paper mill, in Finistère. A stationery that has diversified a lot: in plastic film, electric capacitors, or even lithium batteries. For 40 years, Vincent Bolloré bought businesses, sold them, joined forces, separated, because the industrialist is also a formidable financier, he is known for his blows, his stock market raids – successful or unsuccessful – Bouygues, Vivendi, Vallourec, Telecom Italia, difficult to name them all. Today, the group is a family, international holding company which has invested in Italy and even in Africa.
The Bolloré group owns 30% of Vivendi, 18% of Universal Music group and employs 80,000 people. In 2020, in the midst of a crisis, it achieved 24 billion euros in turnover.
Yannick and Cyrille Bolloré, already in the group, will succeed him. Cyrille, 36, CEO for three years, Yannick, 42, Chairman of the Vivendi Supervisory Board. Officially, the departure of the patriarch should not change much because Vincent Bolloré has not had an operational function for three years. But this hyperactive, known to hold his group with a fist for four decades, will he really retire? Many do not believe in it and see a false start.
The group has many projects to settle. First of all that of the media. Vivendi has taken shares in Lagardère and should soon get its hands on Hachette, Europe 1, Paris Match. Catholic, conservative, Vincent Bolloré also owns C8, CNews, the channel where Éric Zemmour officiated. In fact, some compare him to Robert Murdoch in reference to the American press magnate, who helped Donald Trump become president of the United States. This concentration feeds the critics: a collective “Stop Bolloré” composed of associations, writers, researchers has just been created to oppose the billionaire.