Eagle Football picks up majority stake in OL



Linkedin Twitter

Olympique Lyon new owner Image: Populous

Eagle Football has as promised bought a majority stake in French Ligue 1 soccer team Olympique Lyonnais (OL), the club announced on December 19th, concluding a months-long back-and-forth between the two parties.

‘Reuters’ stated that the investment fund belonging to American John Textor now holds 77.49 percent of OL on a non-diluted basis, and 86.57 percent in concert with Holnest on a fully-diluted basis, leading to a change in the Board composition to reflect the new shareholding structure.

Eagle Football Holdings Bidco Limited (‘Eagle Football’) is a London-based group founded by digital entrepreneur and football enthusiast John Textor.

Olympique Lyonnais, commonly referred to as simply Lyon or OL, is a men and women’s French professional football club based in Lyon in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France. The men play in France’s highest football division, Ligue 1. Founded in 1950, the club won its first Ligue 1 championship in 2002, starting a national record-setting streak of seven successive titles. Lyon has also won eight Trophées des Champions, five Coupes de France and three Ligue 2 titles. They play in the 59,186-capacity Groupama Stadium in Décines-Charpieu, France.

Textor said in a statement, “After four months of constructive negotiations … we are proud to reach this exceptional agreement.”

The closure comes after several delays to the purchase which was initially announced in July.

‘Reuters’ further stated that Textor had said in early December that his Eagle Football Holding LLC would go through with the purchase of the club, confirming a week later that all consents that were necessary had been obtained, and related agreements signed.

As planned, the fund also subscribed to OL’s reserved capital increase for a total amount of 86 million euros ($91.34 million).

Eagle Football will next file a simplified cash tender offer for the remaining shares and convertible bonds it does not own at a price of three euros per share and 265.57 euros per bond.

The billionaire investor has bought stakes in soccer clubs around the world, including the Brazilian association football club Botafogo, the Premier League club Crystal Palace F.C. and the Belgian second division side Molenbeek, with a plan to beat the system dominated by the big European clubs by developing young talent from North and South America.

Added Textor, “Eagle Football … intends to quickly implement collaboration across its clubs notably in France, Brazil and Belgium, reliant on training and development methodologies of Olympique Lyonnais, a reference in the field.”

He added that Jean-Michel Aulas, the club’s now previous owner, will be an independent Director in Eagle Football.

Lyon is eighth in Ligue 1 with 21 points from 15 games.

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on venues business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports and entertainment venue executives and professionals creating better and more profitable venues.

Become a member of the only Global Sports Venue Alliance and connect with stadiums, arenas and experts from around the world. Apply for membership at coliseum-online.com/alliance and make use of the 365Coliseum Business.

Watch 150 member-exclusive videos with valuable tips for your venue



« Previous News:
» Next News: