A leading French entrepreneur has decided to sell his African timber businesses following criticism from the World Bank and environmentalist pressure groups about logging practices.

Vincent Bollore, who owns 300,000ha of forest in Cameroon, said that he would sell his timber interests by the end of the year. The move comes at a time of heightened activism by groups such as Greenpeace, which recently led a blockade in the French port of Se te of a cargo loaded with timber.