Obituaries : Sylvain Floirat; French Industrialist

Sylvain Floirat, 93, a French auto worker trainee who became an industrialist with interests in aeronautics, publishing and luxury hotels. The son of a postal worker, Floirat started his first business at the age of 28 and was nicknamed the "man with the golden fingers" for his success in rescuing failing companies. He transformed a struggling radio station, Europe 1, into one of France's most popular stations and expanded Matra Engins into the highly profitable defense, telecommunications and aeronautics firm Matra. Floirat also was involved in bus manufacturing, truck transport and aviation, and managed television companies and owned hotels. In 1981 he became an administrator at the publishing company Hachette and expanded his interests to the Filipacchi media group in 1984. In Paris on Sunday.

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