NEW WORLD: Pierre Bergé is a step closer to taking over Le Monde. Journalists’ association SRM on Friday declared itself overwhelmingly favorable to the bid put forward by Bergé, Matthieu Pigasse, the local head of investment bank Lazard, and Xavier Niel, founder of French internet service provider Free, according to a source. They are vying to take control of Le Monde SA, which owns Le Monde, weekly Télérama and other publications, against a rival consortium of France Telecom, Claude Perdriel, whose media holdings include the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, and Spanish media group Prisa, which owns a 15 percent stake in the company. Le Monde’s internal shareholders, which include SRM, are due to make the final decision today.
— Joelle Diderich