×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

French Mogul Vincent Bollore Detained in Corruption Probe

French billionaire Vincent Bollore, who last week stepped down as chairman of media giant Vivendi, was taken by police into custody on Tuesday for questioning as part of an investigation into allegations of corrupt business practices in Africa.

The head of the Bollore Group is being questioned in the Paris suburb of Nanterre about how the group obtained contracts to run ports in Togo and Guinea, which are both former French colonies, his company has confirmed. Police now have up to 48 hours to investigate Bollore and decide whether he will stand trial.

News that the magnate whose group holds a majority stake in Vivendi, which in turn owns Universal Music Group and the Canal+ Group, caused shares in his Bollore Group  holding company to tumble more than 8%, while Vivendi shares dropped around 1%.

In a statement Bollore Group has denied any illegal actions in its African operations.

Bollore, 66, who is known as a corporate raider and has a net worth of $7.3 billion, according to Forbes, took over his family business in 1981 and turned it from a paper manufacturer into an $14.8 billion global construction, media and transport giant whose business activities include running ports in West and Central Africa.

Last week, Bollore handed over the reins at Vivendi — the French media company where he’d been chairman since 2014 and which Bollore Group controls with a 20.5 percent stake — to his son Yannick Bollore.

It is not known if his decision to step down from Vivendi was related to the investigation.

Also last week, Vivendi chief executive officer Arnaud de Puyfontaine said they had begun work on a “potential listing” of Universal Music Group, which is its largest asset.

Reports of the investigation started started surfacing two weeks ago. The probe according to French daily Le Monde involves two separate cases, one in Togo and the other in Guinea. The French judges are reportedly looking into whether payments were made towards the electoral campaigns of African politicians who once in office granted port concessions to Bollore’s group.

 

More Music

  • Jussie Smollett court

    Jussie Smollett's Attorneys Say He Was Victim of Police 'Spectacle'

    Jussie Smollett’s legal team issued a defiant statement on Thursday night, saying the “Empire” actor feels betrayed by the justice system and hinting at a political motive for his prosecution. Smollett was arrested early Thursday on a felony charge of filing a false police report. He was released after a court hearing on $100,000 bond, [...]

  • Best Score Nominee Alexandre Desplat Is

    Best Score Nominee Alexandre Desplat to Skip Oscar Ceremony

    Best score nominee Alexandre Desplat will be unable to attend Sunday’s Oscar ceremonies because of recent throat surgery, a rep for the composer confirms. The French native, already a two-time Oscar winner (for 2014’s “Grand Budapest Hotel” and 2017’s “The Shape of Water”), is nominated this year for his Japanese-flavored score for Wes Anderson’s “Isle [...]

  • Credit: Photo by Adela Loconte/REX/Shutterstock (9788964b)Gary

    Gary Clark Jr. Finds the Right Words, as Well as Solos, on New Album

    From the scorched earth rock and anti-racist (and anti-Trump-ian) howl of its title tune to the pounding country-blues of “The Governor,” with its cynical take on social justice issues, Gary Clark Jr.’s third studio effort, “This Land,” does what none of the 35-year-old singer-guitarist’s albums have in the past: it puts his mouth where his [...]

  • Heather Parry Live Nation

    Heather Parry Fired From Live Nation Productions

    Live Nation Entertainment announced Thursday that Heather Parry will leave the company following a Variety investigation into allegations of workplace bullying. Parry ran Live Nation Productions, the TV and film arm of the touring conglomerate, for three years. In December, Variety reported that Live Nation’s human resources department had been repeatedly warned that Parry was [...]

  • Maxine Waters

    Maxine Waters Reacts to Jussie Smollett Arrest: 'I Would Be Disappointed' if It's a Hoax

    Maxine Waters said she “would be disappointed” if it’s proven that her friend Jussie Smollett staged his own attack. Speaking with Variety‘s Marc Malkin on Thursday at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood Awards, the U.S. representative from California said, “If in fact it’s a hoax, of course I would be disappointed.” Smollett faces one felony [...]

  • Beck House

    Beck Lists Updated Vintage Traditional in Los Feliz (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mononymically known indie music iconoclast Beck, who took home his sixth and seventh Grammys earlier this year for his 13th studio album (“Colors”), has put one of the three homes he and wife Marisa Ribisi own along the same, gated street in a coveted neighborhood of L.A.’s Los Feliz area for $2.45 million. The couple [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content