The Paris Commercial Court has approved, this Wednesday, July 1, the plan of resumption of level 1 of the company Presstalis, main press distribution company and only able to distribute the national daily press throughout the territory. The newspaper cooperative, the only structure to have submitted a takeover offer, thus becomes the shareholder of a new distribution company called France Messagerie.
Bruno the Mayor, Minister of Economy and Finance, and Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, welcome this decision and are pleased that the mobilization of publishers and the entire sector has allowed, by the partial takeover of the courier company, to avoid any break in continuity in the distribution of the press sold to the issue.
The reform of the Bichet law carried out last year has facilitated the transformation of the sector, with tools more adapted than those we had previously: a new regulator, ARCEP, with strong emergency powers, is fully mobilized on the subject.
Since the beginning of the year, and faced with the difficulties encountered by Presstalis, the State has given strong support to the sector in order to avoid a liquidation of the whole of society, whose systemic consequences would have been dramatic.
In the first place, and in addition to the advance payment of the €27 million subsidy provided for in the finance laws, the State supported the company for the continuation of its activity during the lockdown to ensure the continuity of distribution of the press, by granting Presstalis an additional grant of €17 million, as well as a €35 million loan from the Economic and Social Development Fund (ERDF). The Ministry of Culture also took charge of the qualification cheques due to the press dealers for an amount of €16.2m.
Then, after the submission of a takeover offer by the Coopérative des quotidien (CDQ) to the Tribunal de Commerce, the Government committed to participate in the need to take over the new structure by contributing €80 million to the financing plan. The Minister of Culture also mobilized to facilitate the implementation of solutions for level 2, by accompanying the takeover of the Lyon and Marseille deposits in the form of cooperative societies of collective interest (SCIC).
Finally, the State has chosen to provide specific support to the most fragile actors in distribution with the introduction of two exceptional aids: the first for specialist and independent broadcasters, and the second for independent publishers of political and general news titles weakened by the messaging crisis, for a total amount of €27 million (€19 million for broadcasters and €8 million for publishers). All publishers will also have access to IFCIC loans and guarantees, whose response capabilities are being strengthened.
All these financial measures are provided for in PLFR 3, which is currently being examined by the National Assembly.
The continued distribution of the press throughout the country is a democratic requirement that the State will continue to preserve.
The public authorities will continue to be attentive to the social consequences of this restructuring and vigilant on the support that will benefit employees who cannot be taken up in the new structure as on level 2.
The ministers will follow with the greatest attention the launch of the new courier company, ensuring that the fragilities of the past do not happen again, as well as the support that will be provided to the entire sector.