And the yacht sank Stéphane Courbit.

In February, a luxury boat sank in the Aegean Sea. As a metaphor for the fall very close to Nicolas Sarkozy.

Friday, February 17, 2012, the Aegean Sea. A 19 nautical miles east of the island of Skyros, a distress signal that a yacht in trouble. He knows "mechanical failure." It takes water. Eight men are on board, the crew which convey the boat from Istanbul. Winds between 62 and 74 kilometers per hour. Gale force 8 on the Beaufort scale, two degrees before the storm. Two Super Puma helicopters of the Hellenic Air Force, a frigate of the navy and three patrol boats from the port police immediately rushed to the scene. When the helicopters arrived in the area, the boat is lying on starboard. Tiny men in orange life jackets waving their arms on deck. The hoist begins. One by one, the crew members are hoisted out of the boat, swayed by the wind, clinging to their rope, while the ocean gently swallow the yacht, white mass to still lights that are not already distinguishes neither the pool or jacuzzi. It flows from the rear. The paintings have just been redone. At the top of the letters and numbers are cut perfectly registration: IMO 9544621.

IMO 9544621. Yogi. 60 meters: an average size in the Greek and blue waters that see through the whims of more than 100 meters of Russian billionaires or Arab princes. This, however, is the biggest French yacht. It was released a Turkish shipyard in 2011. The Yogi as the other was probably named for a bottle of vintage champagne, drink synonymous of success, luck but also privileges. Not blood, as previously ranged sailors on the bow of the boat. The owner of the Yogi is his time, the wind, he had hitherto always been the case, he had in the back. His name is Stéphane Courbit.

The Greek press reminds outlines his pedigree. A child and a king of the TV shows that microphone in hand amid sinking ship. In the photo, he has the head of a smooth blond host late afternoon but Courbit is actually a producer, born with Dechavanne associated with Arthur and the sacred reality. At the turn of the century, it combines with Endemol, the Dutch wholesale program provider who wants to settle in France, he became the president of the French subsidiary, retrieves the catalog makes the "Loft" and Loana with M6 and negotiates a "output deal" with TF1. An "output deal"? This means that a number of cases are for Endemol in the grid of TF1. When he sold his shares in late 2007, he pocketed a gain of € 240 million. He created his own holding, Lov for Lila, and Oscar Vanilla, his young children whose initial draw the name of his empire. It provides advice for Alain Minc ("This is the best", they say to each other) and invests in all sectors whose growth is based on deregulation, electricity or online games (this subject, he warns his wife: "I can very well find myself in custody"). On Greek sites, bulimic appetite of the young prince feeds business stories of the sinking. Nicolas Sarkozy, the friend and neighbor of Neuilly who had invited him to Fouquet's on the night of his election in 2007, is clearly part of the gallery, not to mention the family portrait. But it is to France that the story makes sense.

For this sinking yacht in the Aegean Sea, is the climax of a film, that moment when everything changes. We therefore Feb. 17, 2012. Two days earlier, Nicolas Sarkozy announced his decision to run again for the presidency of the Republic. The official poster is ready, it was unveiled to the press. She was immediately dissected, diverted. Where does the blue ocean in the background on the poster? Jean Saurian, aka @ schloren on Twitter, analyzed the EXIF ​​data of JPEG file posted by Le Figaro. According to him, the marine background is from a photograph entitled Greece, Clouds over Aegean Sea, credited Getty Images Tetra Images-RF. Aegean, yet it! The unleashed antisarkozysme are encrusted or Titanic Costa Concordia Sarkozy at the head of captain. Boats run on posters diverted. Or a yacht, true, just sunk in the Aegean Sea. The rescue of the crew has cost EUR 22 000. "Not a small sum for Greece bankrupt," says the local press. Athens burned the Saturday before she lets see red lights broken, shops and cinemas burned, burned by fevers and anger.

Lie, by 400 meters deep, a large round table in a large room with natural wood Bali, another entire length of the bridge, orchids, plasma screens, silverware, crystal glasses, tablecloths white damask, light orange cushions revived cream canvas declined as a color on the seats, carpets, sofas, mattresses lined up around the pool, one suite, five cabins with sliding doors and perforated, with huge beds and high for up to twelve people. All decor, party pollute the bottom of the ocean, yet virtually visit on the Internet. A small promotional film gave you the Yogi before renting from 357 000 to 378 000 euros per week depending on the season. It runs again, just imagine life aboard, massages, receptions, parties, all versions of a permanent political lobbying. There is an afterlife for yachts. The video has become a slogan epitaph: "The essence of well-being and luxury." A Greek newspaper suggests aka "The wreck of the yacht Yogi could end up in a detective novel with the title Good diving." In France, it would fit a generic end to the wreck. Names, costumes, sets are known.

The story begins with the 2000s. The first TV channel assumes full mission by the mouth of its CEO, softening brains. "For an advertisement to be seen, it is necessary that the brain of the viewer is available. Our programs are designed to make available: that is to say, to entertain, to relax to prepare between two messages. What we sell to Coca-Cola is the human brain time available, "then said Patrick Le Lay. Emissions are provided by Courbit and "output deal". Endemol chain pays € 83 million for five years to be supplied with reality TV shows and entertainment. The agreement stipulates that in case of departure of Stéphane Courbit the contract becomes null and void. He has pegged his salary on the increase of turnover flies.

A man then dominated French politics, he is the minister of the interior determined chin and slamming words, so "scum" and "Kärcher". It is very comfortable on the chain that makes brains available. Unbeatable same. He says all crisis dramas and facts. The owner is a friend, neighbor of Neuilly. It is even the godfather of his son. Courbit Sarkozy knows it as well. Neuilly still, years earlier: Sarkozy was in the palm of his career, had concerns Courbit permits and architect to modify the interior of the house he had bought on the Ile de la Jatte. Dating, advice, Cecilia becomes infatuated with this as the reality came from a small village in the Drôme. He does not like politics, but he said yes to a meeting for the referendum on Europe Bercy, yes even in a roundtable on media Beauveau Place. This is before the presidential election that offers Cécilia Sarkozy, the costs of Endemol, a Hermes bag four-digit and three zeros.

The rest is history: an electoral victory, a night at the Fouquet's, where, on the terrace of the hotel, we will find Arthur Courbit and Bouygues. It is this night that Vincent Bolloré suggests the new president, whose emotions fluctuate between enjoyment of victory and fear of divorce threat: "If you want Paloma to rest a few days." Twenty years ago it offers. That night, Martin Bouygues also offers a boat, but the winning candidate prefers the first, thinking to avoid the controversy over his links with the head of TF1. Not for a moment did he doubt that this is the yacht that will be a problem, which fit in the imagination of French an indelible symbol, it will never be able to erase.

Nicolas Sarkozy, Cecilia, "Little Louis" girls Cecilia and son Nicolas' rendezvous at Le Bourget and fly to Malta. On board the Paloma, a couple plays his last card, and a government emerges amid marital reconciliation. Cecilia pushes for higher office who have always supported into his escapades, thus Rachida Dati was promoted to Minister of Justice. The photos taken by the paparazzi far ambush show evidence of golden body, at rest, without costumes or functions, but we guess that moguls do siestent one eye.

The yacht. Attribute all-powerful as the crowd paid holidays observed summer, half-amused, half-dreamy, time of ice on the harbor with children. The yacht does not come first in the list of external signs of wealth. The nouveau riche plans to acquire First floor - real estate in Paris, Golden Triangle Preferably, the villa on the coast or in Porto-Vecchio - then comes the jet, essential to business, sometimes a hunt where the game is released, or an island in the Morbihan or Seychelles. The yacht is the icing on the big cake. Courbit went quickly. The heir Martin Bouygues, thirteen years her senior, has long rented, it has invested in 2010. A 62.5 meters to 65 million Baton Rouge, in tribute to the city of Louisiana, where his wife was born. Full range of floating palace with "transformable circular solarium dance," said The first time it appears, it is in Port Hercule in Monaco Boat Show in September 2010, Martin Bouygues requested that does not give the owner's name. Discretion. Wealth is not so easy to wear. Registration in a tax haven either. The crisis hit. Nicolas Sarkozy is hard to forget the Fouquet's, Paloma and the tax shield.

But Courbit who has everything - offices rue Francois Ier in Paris, a residence with pool in Neuilly, the Hotel des Cranberries in Courchevel Hermes carriage to walk in the snow and on between 10,000 and 35,000 euros night, the Pan Dei Hotel, the palace of the Greek name of Saint-Tropez, a house on 7 acres at the tip of Capon - wants his boat! It tu President of the Republic. Has all the address book of Pierre Charon, eye of the President, which he employed for this purpose Endemol for four years. Knows the direct line of the new budget minister, Eric Woerth, he called much for news of the end of the monopoly on online gaming. "In six months," "in three months," replied the minister. The law authorizing online gambling was passed by Parliament in 2010. The yacht is controlled in stride. Courbit 45, looks ten less, and already getting old. He refuses with the same obstinacy that Daft Punk we take a picture, the same picture as he runs in newspapers year after year, taking value of official portrait. Another way to stay young: old attend the Century, this influential club of policies, employers and journalists, and closed while the owners of global mega-yachts circle. The boat is delivered in summer 2011. That year, sales of luxury ships explode. "It is clear that there is always money in the market and people continue to buy," then said in a statement Patrick Coote, director of Fraser Yachts. This is not the last step on the ladder of as-tu-vu at sea, after the super-yacht, there is still a mega-yacht, and the giga-yacht, very popular with Russian oligarchs who love to entertain, impress on board and leave in their wake, mixed with the smell of diesel, as a suspect scent of money laundering.

AXA IS THAT THE INSURED "YOGI" for about 40 million euros. Three days after the sinking, lawyers and insurance experts arrive in Skyros. At the same time, the owner of the boat company expressed in a letter "thanks and gratitude to the Greek port police and the inhabitants of the island of Skyros for the hospitality extended to the crew." There, the wreck poses many questions. What did Yogi and experienced sailors at sea, while a pleasure boat does not leave when the wind blows beyond 5 Beaufort? The head of the Turkish site, Mehmet Karabeyoglu refutes the press advanced mechanical explanations engine overheating that would have broken the exhaust bellows. "There was a safety valve to prevent this eventuality. The yacht was built in accordance with all international standards and was controlled by French experts before being put in the water. "

Inaugurated by gold on a yacht vacation, quinquennium Nicolas Sarkozy has ended in two shipwrecks.

Presumably the manufacturer covers. But the Coast Guard also questioned. How the yacht, which was not a year, he could take the water so quickly? Captain Gritzelis Kostas says in the papers that this type of boat has a low freeboard, that is to say a stern nearby water between two large waves that flood the bridge, the sea can achieve machines. "These ships are not sealed, that is why we must avoid the bad weather," he said. But the thesis that dominates is that of the wave having broken a window, letting in water on board. "Or someone left open, recklessly. Door", written with a touch of irony the site of a serious centrist newspaper Ethnos. Greek police opened an investigation.

In Paris, less sea considerations, but a disorder that exudes in jokes. "The insurance that deleveraging," laughed one in tax. "This is a tragedy and cash that plunge jokes do we in the offices of lawyers in Paris, he no longer has to pay his boat." For months, we realized that the young tycoon is not as rich as imagined. The expected windfall is a little stunted since the crisis rumbles, diversification initiated by Courbit now seems overpaid. Here he is suddenly caught in the most fascinating news story of the quinquennium: the Bettencourt affair. It lacked only that, indeed, the epic one who lived live Fouquet's, the opening of the electricity market and online games, and failed to contract the advertising of France TVs with Alain Minc and the Elysee blessing slip casting in this case where the shadow of the president continues to hover in the form of visits that only remembers the agenda. Where are scattered words stolen by the little tape butler, who all say the obsession with money.

There is the phrase made famous by Patrice de Maistre to Liliane Bettencourt, whose task it is to manage the fortune: "Do you always want to make me a gift? If you want to do something, it would have to be in Switzerland, not here. And it would allow me to buy the boat of my dreams, here. Because I love the boat. " The boat of his dreams, it's not a yacht, the flotilla arrived. Maistre is very old and goes to France Joseph de Maistre, he wears tweed jackets and keeps his card in his wallet at the Jockey Club. The boat of his dreams, this is obviously a sailboat, the only fantasy authentic sailors as Eugène Schueller, the father of Liliane. He sailed on Edelweiss. And it is through these trips, moreover, that the chemist became a billionaire: the sunburn he took on the bridge gave him in 1936, paid leave, the idea of ​​launching the first amber Solar. Patrice de Maistre had to give up to buy his 21 meters, but the financial arrangements he had concocted to acquire quietly today as it is going to prison. A boat again.

In May 2011, we learned that the richest woman in France has come up to 20% - or 143 million - the capital of the holding company of Stéphane Courbit Lov Group. A feasibility study conducted by Jean-Marie Messier, who became a banker and corporate lawyer and, in terms of setbacks, it is rather well known, provides attractive investment, especially if Axa Private Equity is part as it is discussed. A month later, the daughter of Liliane Bettencourt, Françoise Meyers, disputes this investment once again made without the knowledge of his old mother would have taken Courbit "for a singer," she said, and especially under the leadership of Pascal Wilhelm, the new asset manager for L'Oreal heiress, but also the lawyer of Jean-Marie Messier and Stephane Courbit - or at least its online gaming site, BetClick. All this feels very strong conflict of interest. In their jargon, analysts engage in calculations: "The investment by the owner of L'Oréal promotes empire Courbit nearly thirty times its EBITDA, EBITDA of EUR 20 million." To them, Lov was overrated.

"I will repay," says quickly Courbit. But nothing comes. All behind. An attempt at mediation is organized. There was a side of the table as the two disputes for Courbit and to Bettencourt's daughter, a business lawyer. "You give your hotels is settled," said the latter lawyers producer. But even down cash Courbit refuses to part with what he bought on the night of his blue box Monopoly. Personal assets, he says. Reconciling top. And investigators to question whether the 143 million were not used to pay the debts of Courbit.

cats, debts, loans, tax friends, lawyers accomplices, everything will be peeled the art of doing business in the Sarkozy years, including a brief history of yacht swallowed by the Aegean Sea.

Courbit CHANGED ADDRESS now. He does not want to pay Liliane Bettencourt. He did "not pay money, but invested capital increase." It would be the collateral victim of a "radioactive family conflict," an adjective that does not disown Nicolas Sarkozy.

During the presidential election, Justice used to doze carefully, forgetting searches, custody, interrogation. But the election is now over - lost. Court cases show. The police financial brigade have heard Jean-Marie Messier and asked if his bank had not valued Lov Group for investment Ms. Bettencourt. Pascal Wilhelm, a lawyer, a nurse and Courbit also interested judges. "I am ready to go to the judge," he said, as always say those who know their names placed on the agenda of justice. Purchases, debts, loans, tax friends, lawyers accomplices, everything will be peeled the art of doing business in the Sarkozy years, including a brief history of yacht swallowed by the Aegean Sea.

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