French investigators raid transport & logistics firm Bollore

PARIS – Investigators have raided the offices of France’s Bollore Group as part of an investigation into whether the transport and logistics firm leaned on its public relations subsidiary Havas to win contracts to manage ports in West Africa.

The raids occurred Friday, according to Bollore lawyer Olivier Baratelli. In a telephone interview, he rejected the allegation that Havas offered its PR services to Guinean and Togolese leaders to get the deals for its parent company, noting that Bollore was until recently only a minority stakeholder in Havas.

He said: “If you look at how we got the concessions in Togo and Guinea, it’s beyond reproach.”

Bollore has a huge presence in Africa, with operations in more than 40 countries.

The raids were first reported by French newspaper Le Monde.