Riky Stock will join North South Books as managing director on January 1. She will focus on “strengthening transatlantic ties to the company’s head office in Zurich, Switzerland and developing a more international approach to marketing and communications.” Stock was head of the German Book Office in New York and represented the Frankfurt Book Fair in the US. (That office was recently closed.)
One of the year’s unanswered questions has been what France’s Vivendi — and controlling owner Vincent Bolloré — wants from its sizable 27 percent stage in Lagardere. Reuters suggests the battle for control of the company may relate to politics. French president Emmanual Macron is reported to fear that Bollore wants to use Lagardere’s “Europe 1 radio to inundate the airwaves with right-wing views and make the president’s re-election bid even tougher, two sources close to the matter said.”
They say that Macron helped enlist Bernard Arnault to support Arnaud Lagardere in trying to retain control of the company. Reuters supports their argument by indicating that Bollore offered to buy Europe 1 from Lagardere in June for 250 million euros.
Furthermore, “Four sources close to the situation said discussions over how parts of Lagardere could be spun off had begun in recent weeks. One said that Arnault and Bollore had met in person.
Separately, Vivendi recently surprised people as a strong underbidder in the auction for Simon & Schuster, indicating the company is in a broadly acquisitive mode. On Friday, China’s Tencent indicated it would exercise their option to double their 10 percent state in Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, for roughly €3 billion.
Some of the last Best Books of 2020 lists continue to appear. In nonfiction, Brain Pickings highlights a number of titles