Russian billionaire bids for Le Monde

Russian billionaire bids for Le Monde

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

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

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.