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French food group to send baby formula to USA

French food group Danone said on Friday it would send an additional 500,000 packages of medical-grade baby formula to the United States, currently stricken by shortages, by the end of June.

French food group to send baby formula to USA
Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)

A spokesman said the packages of the Neocate brand formula for babies with allergies to cow’s milk should be available to distribute to families at the beginning of July.

The spokesman said Danone had more than doubled shipments of Neocate to the United States in recent months, but declined to provide a figure.

Scarcity of medical-grade baby formula in the United States caused by production problems and supply-chain issues has created grave problems for thousands of parents whose infants rely on it, sending them in frantic searches for the product.

The United States has even used its military planes to help speed up exports from Europe.

Danone’s rival Nestle shipped 31 tonnes of baby formula to the United States on Sunday.

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BUSINESS

Who is the Czech billionaire who has saved left-leaning French newspaper Libération?

He owns the 18th-century Chateau du Marais, has stakes in supermarket Casino and Fnac stores, part owns Le Monde and has now rescued France's left-leaning daily newspaper Liberation.

Who is the Czech billionaire who has saved left-leaning French newspaper Libération?

The Czech billionaire businessman Daniel Kretinsky agreed to finance the loss-making French left-leaning daily Libération until it breaks even, according to the paper’s owners on Tuesday.

The billionaire agreed to lend €14 million to Libération to guarantee “the financing of the title until its return to equilibrium” in 2026.

So who is Kretinsky and what else does he own in France?

Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky gives a speech during the 13th “Rencontres de l’Udecam” in Paris on September 5, 2019.  (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

Other French media: Prior to Libération, Kretinsky had already heavily invested in French media as owner of Elle magazine and part-owner of the daily Le Monde. Kretinsky’s foundation will also inject €1 million into the Fund for the Support of Independent Media (FDPI), the majority-owners of Liberation, according to an internal announcement made by Liberation’s Managing Director Denis Olivennes.

Tuesday’s statement quoted Kretinsky as saying he was “happy to participate in this way to the continued existence of an independent newspaper that is essential to democratic debate”.

Retail chains – Kretinsky’s high-profile investments in France include minority stakes in the convenience store and online retailer Casino, as well as in the electronics, books and media group Fnac Darty.

An 18th century castle – His last big acquisition in France was the historic 18th-century Chateau du Marais castle outside Paris, adding a luxury hotel project to his existing French media and retailing empire.

Kretinsky is 47 years old, and has a net worth of approximately €5 billion, according to Forbes magazine. 

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