The industrial and the press boss Serge Dassault died Monday afternoon at his office at the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées, Marcel-Dassault in Paris “as a result of a heart failure at the age of 93 years, announced to the family Dassault in a press release on the 28th of may, confirming an information from our colleagues of BFM TV. “The emergency services had arrived earlier this afternoon after he has a heart attack.” At the age of 93 years, Serge Dassault would not have been able to be revived, according to the chain. According to our information, the drafting of the Figaro, whose Dassault group is the owner, is preparing a special edition. “The family and the Dassault group will communicate later the terms of the tribute that will be presented to Mr. Serge Dassault,” according to text released by the communication department of the group.
In the shadow of the patriarch
Born Serge Bloch on April 4, 1925 in Paris, the industrialist of jewish origin, and his whole family take the name Dassault in 1946, at the end of the Second world war. The heir of the empire Dassault has long lived in the shadow towering pioneer of aeronautics Marcel Bloch-Dassault, who is deported, the genial engineer of the Hurricane, Mystère IV and the Mirage, the boss of the magazine-Day of France, member of gaullist, who died in 1986 at the age of 94 years.
Entered at the age of 26 years in the family business, his son, a graduate, aeronautical engineer, was not able long to prove that at the subsidiary Dassault Electronics, where he became CEO in 1967. “When I entered the company, I felt that it embêtait,” he confided to the weekly VOD about her father.
Serge fell in the pot” aviation, “wanted to undertake, he wanted to have important positions. But there was no room for two,” says the historian Claude Carlier, the author of several books on Marcel and Serge Dassault. At Dassault Electronic, capacities, provoke contradictory judgments. Shrewd and cunning to some, naive, without diplomacy and “in style rather than abrupt”, for other.
When Marcel Dassault disappears, Serge is considered to be too lantern by the State, which owns 46% of Dassault Aviation and of the majority of voting rights. It will succeed, however, after six months of battle, to succeed him. It will then current the planet to boast of its Mirage and Rafale. This earned him a series of setbacks with the belgian justice, which condemned him in 1998 to two years of imprisonment for active corruption. In 2000, he decided to relinquish the presidency of Dassault Aviation, but keeps the one of the family holding company Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault (GIMD).
A political career and tumultuous
Committed to the RPR and then the UMP, the great industrialist and man of the press has also been very involved on the political level, fulfilling functions of general counsel (1988-2004) -a seat that he found in 2015 following the resignation of his right arm Jean-Pierre Bechter – senator (2004-2017) and mayor of Corbeil-Essonnes (1995 to 2009).
In 2009, the Council of State had annulled his re-election to the city hall of Corbeil-Essonnes (Essonne), from the previous year because of the “gifts of money” and had said Serge Dassault, who had delighted the town with the communists in 1995, was ineligible for a year. It then passes the baton to Jean-Pierre Bechter. His name has been associated with scandals related to cases of vote-buying, money laundering and the accounts hidden.
In 2014, he is indicted in an investigation on suspicion of buying votes in Corbeil-Essonnes in favour of Jean-Pierre Bechter in 2009 and 2010. Last week, one of his close friends, Younès Bounouara has been sentenced on appeal to 15 years imprisonment for attempted murder, related to these allegations of corruption in the elections. the should be tried next week on appeal for this case.
The billionaire was still deeply attached to Corbeil, and in 2015, the municipality baptizing an avenue Serge Dassault, for its 90 candles. At the time of his death, he was still advisor to the district.
Trouble with the tax man
On February 2, 2017, he had been sentenced in Paris to five years of ineligibility and a two-million euro fine for having concealed from the tax authority and the French, for fifteen years, foreign accounts. In question, the accounts of four foundations and corporations, based in Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, which were home to nearly 12 million in 2014.
He was also found guilty of failing in his statements of heritage these millions hidden. The court specified that “the extent of fraud, ( … ), justify the pronouncement of a prison sentence” but it exempts the fact of his “great age”.
Man press on the later
It is more than 75 years that Serge Dassault is entering its third life, devoted to the press by buying the group Valmonde (current Values) and then the Socpresse group Hersant in 2004. It controls 70 titles (including le Figaro and L’express) and the football club of Nantes. In two years, he sells the most part to be interested only in the Figaro, and disposes of the Canaries.
With an estimated fortune of $ 21.6 billion in 2017, it was ranked 5th in the fortune of France according to the ranking of the 500 fortunes of France Challenges in the last year. Grand officer of the Legion of honor since 2004, this love of hunting was also the 57th of fortune global, according to a ranking by Forbes in 2017. He was the father of four children who sit on the supervisory Board of the family holding company. In 2014, the terms of his inheritance, had been published: her man of trust and general director of GIMD, Charles Edelstenne, will succeed him “automatically”.