MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The French news agency Agence France-Presse issued an apology Saturday for falsely reporting on the death of French construction and media conglomerate Bouygues' CEO, Martin Bouygues.
"We offer Martin Bouygues and his family our sincere apologies for this unacceptable mistake," Emmanuel Hoog, the agency's president and CEO, said on his Twitter account.
According to the agency, the error occurred due to a misunderstanding between a village mayor and an AFP journalist, who had been "following up a tip-off" of Bouygues' death.
A Bouygues subsidiary and part of TF1 Group, the French news channel LCI was first to deny the reports, with its chairwoman reporting the industrialist was "well and surprised by this announcement."
Bouygues was founded in 1952 and as of 2011 generated 32.7 billion euros ($36.6 billion) in revenue from media, telecommunications, construction, energy and transportation services.