Part one of Mediapart's investigation into the boss of Free showed how Xavier Niel had begun to amass the beginnings of a fortune thanks, in part, to his investment in sex shops in Paris and Strasbourg. At their peak these shops were earning Niel around 15,000 euros a month in cash.
But this was only the start of the entrepreneur’s money-making success story. The big money – the kind of money that has made him France's 12th wealthiest man - was to come not from the sex shop industry but from new technology, and most importantly from his stewardship of Free, which is today France's second biggest interest service provider and now a successful mobile phone operator too.
As with the rest of his early professional career, Niel, who is an indirect shareholder in Mediapart (see box marked boîte noire at the foot of this page), is not keen on discussing how he came to have ...
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