French Elites Don't Like Competition
Vincent Bolloré turned a sleepy family business into a media empire at home and a logistics empire in Africa. He now faces trial and his African operations will be sold off.
With a net worth estimated at around $8 billion, the Bolloré family is one of the wealthiest families in France.1 The family’s fortune comes from the eponymous Bolloré Group, a publicly-traded conglomerate headquartered in Paris, which employs 79,000 people in 130 countries and had total revenues of €24 billion in 2020.2 In addition to its vast holdings in the French media landscape, the Bolloré Group’s most important asset in recent years has been its transportation and logistics division, which controlled key ports, roads, railways, and airports in West Africa.3 The family is led by Vincent Bolloré, who officially retired from his corporate duties on February 17, 2022, the 200th anniversary of the founding of the family business in 1822. Vincent Bolloré’s son Cyrille is now the Chairman and CEO of the Bolloré Group, while his other son Yannick serves as Vice Chairman and as an executive at several Bolloré-owned subsidiaries.4 But while the pageantry of the formal succession event was widely covered in the French press, Vincent Bolloré’s decision to retire was made under significant legal and media pressure.