1.1 billion euros here, 860 million euros there. At Xavier Niel, through the Iliad group (Free), Atlas Investissement or even via his own portfolio, new capital will be injected into the economy. Sometimes for share buybacks, sometimes for new business launches. The opportunity to take stock of the new ambitions of the billionaire and founder of Free. By next month, in view of the very close deadlines, all these projects will already have no more secrets.
A payment fintech
After telecoms, Xavier Niel wants to make a new revolution. This time in payment, intended for companies. In the coming weeks, the Iliad group (Free) will launch Stancer, a fintech competitor of Square or PayPal. It intends to offer all the equipment and services that a company needs to be able to carry out its business, without spending astronomical sums.
Stancer arrives at the same time as the neobank Revolut – which intends to deploy a mobile payment terminal (mobile TPE) in France at unbeatable prices. To see if Stancer intends to be competitive on prices or only on the available offer. In any case, the tools launched will be designed for both physical businesses and e-commerce.
A new economic medium
At the end of October, the world of business media will welcome “The Informed”, Gilles Tanguy’s new news site in which Xavier Niel has invested. After Le Monde, Télérama, Nice-Matin, France-Antilles and Paris-Turf, “L’informé” claims to be a “free and factual” media with on the program “exclusive information, on companies and their managers, in all economic areas”.
The capital injected must leave journalists free to carry out “long-term” investigations and for the first stage of its development, there will be 15 journalists working in the editorial staff. First objective: reach 50,000 subscribers within five years. To access the site, you will have to pay a monthly payment already provided for at 9.99 euros per month.
European expansion in telecoms
With Atlas Investissement, Xavier Niel recently took a stake in Vodafone, the fourth largest telecom operator in the world. After a failed attempt to buy out one of its subsidiaries, to benefit the Iliad group and its European expansion, Xavier Niel led to a buyout of 2.5% of the shares in Vodafone for 860 million euros.
The economic situation is all the more delicate for telecoms than for other sectors at present. Investments in 5G and fiber have weakened all players. Faced with this, the French are on a war footing to seize all opportunities. Patrick Drahi (Altice) has also recently invested in an operator: he has thus become the main shareholder of BT, for 18% of shares.
An offer for the takeover of M6
In duet with the Italian Silvio Berlusconi and his television group MediaForEurope, Xavier Niel created the surprise at the beginning of the week with a proposal to take over the M6 group. From now on, he is one of the contenders for this operation which should be clarified by the end of the week, according to a source familiar with the matter, informed Le Figaro. In question, the participation of Bertelsmann in the French group, up to 48%.
Xavier Niel and Silvio Berlusconi did not give any details on the filing of their offer but according to sources familiar with the matter, their proposal would be at more than 19 euros per share, or a total of 1.1 billion euros. Their offer will certainly be in direct competition with the trio Stéphane Courbit (FL Entertainment), Rodolphe Saadé (CMA-CGM), and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière (Fimalac).