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Flamboyant entrepreneur Xavier Niel – often described as France’s most influential person – is close to finalising a deal to take a majority holding in Eir, Ireland’s biggest telecoms company.
Neil, who in 2014 bought the majority stake in Monaco Telecom previously owned by Cable & Wireless Communications, is expected to take a stake of 90 percent currently held by US funds Anchorage Capital and Davidson Kempner and Singapore’s GIC.
The deal would value the former state-owned company at €1.5 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. The sale would be the sixth change of ownership since 1999.
Niel, 50, is the man behind Iliad, the internet service provider and owner of France’s Free mobile service. In addition to his holding in Monaco Telecom, he is also co-owner of the French newspaper Le Monde. He is said to be close to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.
Monaco has a new bailiff, or huissier as known locally, who was sworn in earlier this week.
General crime rates in the Principality dropped by a significant 16% between the years 2016 and 2019, and street crime by an impressive 52%.
As part of the newly approved Palais Honoria housing project, a gantry will be installed above Boulevard de Belgique, creating temporary traffic impediments in the area.
Thomas Fouilleron, Director of Archives and Prince's Palace Library, and Colonel Tony Varo, Superior Commander of the Public Force, have been distinguished by the French High Authorities.