Skip to comments.SADAMM:FRENCH MEDIA MOGUL
Posted on 02/27/2003 6:07:39 AM PST by arthur003Edited on 05/26/2004 5:12:22 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Saddam: French media mogul MEDIA monolith Hachette Filipacchi, already fearing an anti-French backlash, has a bigger problem: Saddam Hussein owns a $90 million stake in its parent company. Saddam owns just under 2 percent of Lagardere SCA, the French company of which Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., publishers of Elle, Car & Driver, Women's Day and other titles, is a unit. His shares are held by Iraqi-controlled Montana Management, based in Geneva. Saddam's Hachette holdings first came to light when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, and the UN Security Council along with the French and U.S. governments acted to freeze Iraq's assets. At the time he was the second-largest shareholder in Hachette SA, controlling 8.4 percent of the company. Fearing a backlash, Hachette brass voiced their intention to buy the Iraqi strongman out, which most people assumed had been done long ago. In fact, Saddam still has his stake and it's currently worth $90 million, a Hachette rep confirmed to PAGE SIX's Jared Paul Stern. "Under international sanctions, blocked assets are being held until future direction from the UN and applicable governments," the rep said. "Those assets are frozen." Since Saddam has no representation on Hachette's board of directors, he has no influence over the company, and Hachette's spokeswoman assured us the firm is unafraid of a backlash. Some American Elle advertisers we contacted yesterday had no idea Saddam ever owned a slice of Hachette. "We don't know anything about it," said a rep for MAC cosmetics. Donna Karan's people had no comment. Reps for Coach, Estee Lauder and Banana Republic were similarly in the dark. In 1990, when the Saddam-Hachette news broke on "60 Minutes," publishers of Hachette magazines placed emergency calls to top advertisers in a bid to keep them from leaving. They also established a "circulation crisis group" to deal with subscribers who wanted to cancel over the news. Hachette has been testing consumer reaction to the fact that it is a French company, to determine whether "guilt by association" will harm it, Hachette U.S. CEO Jack Kliger told Media Industry Newsletter. Americans "feel comfortable buying [Elle] just as they do with say, Evian and L'Oreal, and dining in French restaurants. Remember too, there are Americans who oppose war with Iraq."
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
Lagadere is also the apparent owner of a little podunk op called TextToy - they get you on their list somehow for a text messaging service and then proceed to charge you for text messaging services you never requested each time some unknown idiot sends you a text message. By the time you catch it they've made a few dollars off of you.