Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just in case you're interested, I gleaned from the referrals log that there is a hoax rumor going around claiming that Jean Marie Le Pen owns the OCB rolling paper company. He doesn't.

OCB is owned by the Bolloré Group, a French conglomerate. It was originally a family specialty paper manufacturer, but when current owner Vincent Bolloré bought back the company in 1981 (from Edmond de Rothschild, a family friend who had stepped in and run the business for the previous six lean years), he greatly expanded and diversified the company, and gained a reputation as a corporate raider. Vincent Bolloré, who still heads the company and who is on the Forbes 500 rich list, is known to be a friend of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The company went public in 1985, and you can buy shares in it if you want. Here's its website.

That pretty much proves it for me. If company boss Vincent Bolloré is a friend of Edmond de Rothschild and Nicolas Sarkozy, pillars of the Establishment, he's definitely not a supporter of the anti-semitic populist reactionary Le Pen. And as far as the company being owned by Le Pen, that's impossible since it's publicly traded.

Le Pen may own a few shares in the Bolloré Group. We have no idea, since anyone with the money can buy shares of stock, but 1) the company is far too big for Le Pen to own a significant percentage of the shares 2) even if Le Pen does own some shares, he doesn't run the company 3) you can't blame the company itself if Le Pen has bought stock in it; he probably owns stock in several companies, as do lots of other people, ranging from Fidel Castro to Michael Moore to Lemmy out of Motorhead to your mom and dad.

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