Bolloré SE (French pronunciation: [bɔlɔʁe]) is a French conglomerate headquartered in Puteaux, on the western outskirts of Paris, France. Founded in 1822, the company has interests in Vivendi, international freight forwarding, oil storage and pipelines in France, solid state batteries, access control systems for buildings, palm oil and rubber in Asia and Africa, olive groves in the US and wine production in France.

Bolloré SE
TypePublic (Societas Europaea)
Euronext ParisBOL
CAC Mid 60 Component
Founded1822; 201 years ago (1822)
Key people
Vincent Bolloré
(President & CEO)
Yannick Bolloré
Thierry Marraud (CFO)
ProductsLogistics, cargo, paper, automobiles
Revenue24.84 billion (2019)
€1.26 billion (2019)
€1.41 billion (2019)
OwnerBolloré Investissements S.A. (92.2%)
Bolloré family
Number of employees
79,000 (2021)

In 2004, the group ranked amongst the top 200 European companies. The company is listed on the Euronext exchange in Paris, but the Bolloré family retains majority control of the company through a complex and indirect holding structure.[1]

The company is led by Cyrille Bolloré, the son of Vincent Bolloré.

History edit

The firm was founded in 1822, in Ergué-Gabéric, near Quimper, Brittany by Nicolas Le Marié (1797-1870), as a paper manufacturer named papeteries d'Odet. Beginning in 1863, it was directed by Jean-René Bolloré (1818–1881), a nephew by marriage who had obtained a medical doctorate in 1863.

The firm remained owned by the Bolloré family. Gwenn-Aël Bolloré was vice-president of the Papeteries Bolloré from 1952 to 1974. In late 2004, the Bolloré group began taking an interest in the advertising sector, and started building a stake in Havas, becoming its single largest shareholder. In a boardroom coup, Alain de Pouzilhac was deposed as president and CEO on July 12, 2005. The Bolloré stake in Havas stood at 26%, and the group had 3 seats on the Havas board as of June 2006. Vincent Bolloré's son, Yannick Bolloré, became Havas' Chairman and CEO after its previous CEO stepped down in January 2014.

In 2005, Bolloré expanded its media interests by launching the television station Direct 8. The firm also began buying shares of the British media planning and buying group Aegis. Bolloré sold its 26% stake to Dentsu in 2012.[2]

From 6 June 2006 to 22 December 2010,[3] Bolloré launched a free evening newspaper Direct Soir. Lack of readers and advertising revenues made the group focus on its other free newspaper, "Direct Matin", launched in February 2007.[4]

Bolloré manufactures the Bolloré Bluecar, a small electric car, initially produced to showcase the company's range of electric power cells. The Bluecar was introduced in December 2011 as part of the Autolib' carsharing service in Paris.[5] Bluecar deliveries to retail customers began in March 2012.[6]

In 2014, Bollore increased its stake in Havas from 36% to around 83% through a public exchange offer of new Bollore shares for Havas stock. The company said at the time it would like to hold onto a stake well in excess of 50%. In March 2015, Bollore sold a 22.5% stake in the media group for a price of around €600 million.[7]

The next month, in April 2015, Bolloré raised its stake in media company Vivendi from 10.2% to 12.01% at a total cost of €568 million.[8] As of 2016, it owns 20% of Vivendi (30% voting power), 60% of Havas and 9% of Gaumont.[9][10]

In December 2021, After refusing to comment on market “rumors” announcing its intention to sell its transport and logistics subsidiary in Africa, Bolloré Africa Logistics (BAL), the Bolloré group announced that it had received an offer from the giant Swiss MSC for this subsidiary in Africa.[citation needed]

Operations edit

Bolloré operates a network of ports along the West African coast.
Bolloré Énergie

The Group's principal activities are as follows:

  • Bolloré Transport & Logistics and its subsidiary Bolloré Logistics: freight forwarding by sea, land and air, ports, handling and shipping services, operation of shipping lines.[11] This business divisions was valued at €8 billion in 2019, making up half of the companies total value.[1]
  • Plastic Film & Special Papers: polypropylene film for capacitors and packaging, special papers and cigarette paper packs;
  • Energy Distribution: distribution of petroleum and coal products;
  • Special Terminals: design, production, integration and distribution of intelligent systems and terminals for access control;
  • Plantations: rubber and palm oil production in Africa and Asia
  • Other Interests: real estate and banking sectors,
  • Media & Advertising: owns 60% of the media and communications company Havas, whose CEO—Yannick Bolloré—is also the chairman of Vivendi SA in which Bolloré SA holds a circa 25% stake.[1][12]
  • Telecommunication: owns 90% of Bolloré Telecom, a French WiMAX operator

Bolloré is 63% owned by Financière de l'Odet, the holding company controlled by the Bolloré family. Vincent Bolloré announced that his son, Cyrille Bolloré, would take over the CEO position of Bolloré after the April 15, 2019 shareholders meeting. This was done days before Vincent Bolloré himself "was charged by French police in a bribery case relating to operations in Africa."[12]

Electric vehicles edit

AutoLib edit

There are plans to integrate payment for the bike and car hire schemes with the ticketing systems for traditional modes of public transport. Two electric vehicle manufacturers are said to be in the frame to supply the cars: the Dassault Group and Bolloré. The former has a vehicle called the Cleanova, which employs the body of the Renault Kangoo van, while Bolloré's Bluecar has been developed with Italian styling house Pininfarina and is due to go on sale commercially in 2009.[13][needs update]

Pininfarina B0 edit

Pininfarina introduced its own electric vehicle concept, the Pininfarina B0 ("B Zero"). The four-seat hatchback features a solid-state lithium-polymer battery, supercapacitors, and a roof- integrated solar panel to achieve a range of 153 miles. Developed in partnership with the Bolloré Group, the vehicle was slated for limited production in 2009.[14][15][needs update]

Bluecar edit

Bolloré Bluecar charging at Autolib' Station on boulevard Diderot, Paris

Bolloré manufactures the Bolloré Bluecar, a small electric car, initially produce to showcase the company's range of electric power cells. The Bluecar was introduced in December 2011, as part of the Autolib' carsharing service in Paris.[5] Bluecar deliveries to retail customers began in March 2012.[6] Since 2017, Bolloré's Bluecar is also used in the Bluecity London car sharing scheme.[16]

Bluebus edit

A Bluebus SE in Brussels, Belgium.

Bolloré Bluebus 22 is a 6-metre-long electric microbus with a capacity of 22 passengers. Two copies of this electric vehicle transportation arrived mid-April 2015 to Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin.[17]

Bolloré Bluebus SE is a full-sized (12-metre) low-floor electric citybus that has been produced since 2015. Several Bluebus SE are in commercial use in Paris and in Brussels. In early 2022 RATP, the public traffic provider of Paris, suspended all 149 Bluebus 5SE after a series of busses catching fire.[18]

Solar vehicles edit

Hanergy has teamed with Bollore Group to build solar electric vehicles.

Controversies edit

According to a 2018 New York Times report, the company's air, sea, and land transportation network constitutes a "virtual stranglehold" on West African transport.[19] Bolloré controls 18 ports along the western coast of the continent.[20]

There are ongoing investigations into the role of drastically discounted Havas communications services accorded to Guinean candidate Alpha Condé and Togan president Faure Gnassingbé during their presidential campaigns in the awarding of key port concessions in Conakry, Guinea and Lomé, Togo to Bolloré SA.[19] After winning the election, Condé awarded a port-contract to Bolloré, terminating that of the competing Necotrans company. In a settlement, Bolloré paid €2 million to Necotrans without admitting guilt.[21][22]

In January 2021 Vincent Bolloré and two other Bolloré executives pleaded guilty at a Paris court for supplying €370,000 worth of communication services to Gnassingbé.[23] A 2021 Ghanaian ministerial committee investigation concluded that Bolloré secured an under the table deal with the John Mahama administration for building a new container terminal at Tema with terms strongly favouring the company at the expense of the Ghanaian government.[24]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Assessing Vincent Bolloré". The Economist. 2019-05-30. ISSN 0013-0613. Archived from the original on 2020-12-06. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  2. ^ "Bollore agrees to sell Aegis stake to Dentsu". Reuters. 2012-07-02. Archived from the original on 2017-01-07. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  3. ^ Debouté, Alexandre (10 January 2012). "La pub a progressé de 4,4 % dans la presse en 2011". Le Figaro. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  4. ^ Soulas, Delphine (14 March 2013). "Dossier presse gratuite". Stratégies. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b Richard Lord (2011-12-05). "Autolib' electric car sharing service launches in Paris, France". Sustainable Guernsey. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
  6. ^ a b Michaël Torregrossa (2012-03-07). "Bolloré Bluecar – 1000 immatriculations pour Autolib' et début des livraisons pour les particuliers" [Bolloré Bluecar – 1000 cars registered for Autolib’ and deliveries to individuals begin] (in French). AVEM. Retrieved 2012-03-21.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Callus, Andrew (26 March 2015). "Bollore sells 22.5 percent Havas stake for $662 million". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 November 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Bollore raises Vivendi stake again as AGM battle looms". Reuters. 2 April 2015. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Portfolio of shareholdings - Bolloré". Archived from the original on 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  10. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (11 October 2016). "Vincent Bolloré Ups Stake, Voting Rights in Vivendi". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  11. ^ "BAL - Bolloré Africa Logistics: Bolloré Africa Logistics". Archived from the original on 2023-01-04. Retrieved 2023-01-26.
  12. ^ a b Angelina Rascouet (14 March 2019). "Billionaire Bollore Hands Reins of Empire to Son Cyrille". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 26 March 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Move Over Velib, Autolib Is On Its Way". BikeRadar. 2008-06-30. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
  14. ^ "EERE News: EERE Network News". Archived from the original on 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
  15. ^ [1] Archived October 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Smith, Rebecca (2017-06-14). "Bluecity is expanding its electric car sharing service across London after successful Hammersmith and Fulham pilot". City A.M. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  17. ^ AVEM, Association (28 May 2015). "Deux Bluebus débarquent à Mulhouse". Archived from the original on 1 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Paris suspends electric bus fleet after fires". 29 April 2022. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  19. ^ a b Liz Alderman (25 April 2018). "Vincent Bolloré, French Billionaire, Faces a Rare Corruption Inquiry". New York Times. Archived from the original on 26 March 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  20. ^ "SPECIAL REPORT: How Vincent Bolloré won control of Ghana's biggest port". Archived from the original on 2021-03-31. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  21. ^ "French CEO Bolloré questioned over west Africa corruption allegations". RFI. 2018-04-24. Archived from the original on 2021-05-06. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  22. ^ "French tycoon Vincent Bolloré detained over suspected Africa corruption". France 24. 2018-04-24. Archived from the original on 2021-03-08. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  23. ^ Ledy, Nephthali Messanh (2021-02-26). "Bolloré reconnaît avoir payé des dépenses de communication de Faure Gnassingbé". Financial Afrik (in French). Archived from the original on 2021-04-15. Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  24. ^ "How a French billionaire gained control of Ghana's largest port: report". Face2Face Africa. 2021-03-31. Archived from the original on 2021-03-31. Retrieved 2021-04-01.

External links edit