PARIS Aug 29 French industrialist Martin
Bouygues has put his luxury yacht up for sale for 67.5 million
euros ($85 million), slightly more than he paid two years ago,
according to the website of business magazine Challenges.
The 62.5-metre "Baton Rouge" was built by the
Netherlands-based Icon Yachts and employs a crew of 16,
according to Challenges. Fitted out with a dance floor, pool and
bar, it had been rented out for 455,000 euros a week.
A spokesman for Martin Bouygues's construction-to-telecom
conglomerate Bouygues SA would not comment on the
report, saying the yacht was part of the chief executive's
A sale would come as the Bouygues group is being hit hard by
low-cost mobile phone competitor Iliad, which has
sparked a price war in the sector in France. The company posted
sharply lower first-half earnings late on
Martin Bouygues and his brother control 21 percent of the
company founded by their father in 1952. The pair have slipped
down in Challenges magazine's rankings of France's richest
people in the past year to the 35th spot, with net worth of 1.4
billion euros, as the value of their Bouygues stake has
"The state picked our pockets in the spectrum auction last
year and a month later they smashed us with the arrival of the
fourth mobile player," Martin Bouygues lamented at a news
conference on Wednesday.
Bouygues shares have plummeted from peaks around 67 euros
seen in 2007 and were trading at 20.285 euros by 1246 GMT, down
7.4 percent in reaction to the company's latest figures.
Iliad's arrival in the French mobile sector was approved
under former President Nicolas Sarkozy despite his close
friendship with Martin Bouygues, who was a witness at his
wedding in 2008 and is godfather to one of his sons.
Iliad founder Xavier Niel now owns France's 12th biggest
fortune, just behind tycoon Vincent Bollore on whose yacht
Sarkozy famously vacationed after his election in 2007.
Another luxury yacht, belonging to entrepreneur Stephane
Courbit who built his fortune in television, sank off the coast
of Greece in February. A video of the wreck proved popular with
the recession-weary French when it went viral on the Internet.
($1 = 0.7958 euros)
(Reporting by Leila Abboud)