Billionaire Bollore Hands Reins of Empire to Son Cyrille

(Bloomberg) -- France’s Vincent Bollore is handing the reins of the $13 billion Bollore Group to his son Cyrille. But the 66-year old Breton isn’t leaving altogether.

Cyrille Bollore, 33, will become chief executive officer and chairman of the sprawling conglomerate, which includes everything from stakes in media company Vivendi SA to port operations in Africa.

Billionaire Bollore Hands Reins of Empire to Son Cyrille

Bollore, who’s worth $5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has been grooming his four children to take over management of his empire. Bollore has frequently said he would step down in 2022, when he turns 70 and the Bollore Group reaches 200.

Last month, Vivendi -- in which the Bollore Group owns a 24 percent stake -- said Cyrille would replace his father as a board director after a shareholder vote on April 15. Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine said it showed a “new generation” was taking over.

It followed the appointment of another son, Yannick Bollore, as chairman of Vivendi last April. Yannick’s appointment occurred days before his father was charged by French police in a bribery case relating to operations in Africa. The family holding company formally denied its businesses did anything irregular.

Vincent Bollore will remain in charge of Financiere de l’Odet, a family-controlled holding company that owns 63 percent of the Bollore Group. Vincent was named CEO of that holding on Thursday, succeeding Cyrille.

The changes come as Vivendi prepares to sell a stake in its biggest business, Universal Music Group. Surging streaming revenue at Universal has boosted the parent company’s profits, making up for weaker performances at its advertising and pay-television units. Vivendi is also battling a U.S. activist investor for control of Telecom Italia SpA.

Shares in Bollore SA were little changed at 3.91 euros as of 9:22 a.m. in Paris. Vivendi shares rose 0.1 percent. The stock is up 23 percent this year.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.