Holnest in talks to buy LDLC Arena


Jean-Michel Aulas in discussions to acquire OL Vallée Arena Image: Populous

Holnest Group has entered into exclusive discussions with OL Groupe to buy the LDLC Arena in Lyon, France.

L’Equipe said the family company, which is owned by former Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas, has kicked off the talks in order to buy the arena which is located in OL Vallée.

The arena is a modular multipurpose hall with 16,000 seats inaugurated at the end of 2023 and is home to LDLC ASVEL of the Euroleague of basketball.

The aim of the negotiations, which have a deadline of May 31, is to sell all of the shares of the OLG Vallée Arena, operating company of the LDLC Arena.

OL Vallée is a massive project of Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais, the design of which was conceived when the Groupama Stadium opened in 2016. Spread over a 50 hectare site, the complex is a sports center of excellence.

The new, multipurpose LDLC Arena was designed by Populous to deliver a modern and sustainable entertainment venue for Lyon and a cultural center for the wider region. Most importantly, it will enable the city to attract the world’s best musicians and performers.

A long-term commercial agreement between entertainment company Live Nation (US) and the Olympique Lyonnais Groupe was signed in October 2021, paving the way for construction of the venue to commence in January 2022.

LDLC Arena will host between 100 to 120 events per year, including LDLC ASVEL’s basketball matches, futsal, tennis, esports competitions, large-scale seminars and trade shows, as well as a program of live concerts.

It has a capacity of 16,000 for concerts and 12,000 for sporting events. The arena has three stands facing the stage, and a fourth removable one for use during sporting events.

OL Groupe in a press release, “The proposed sale of this asset is part of the strategy developed by Eagle Football, in particular the refocusing on men’s football activities.”

The announcement from the holding company owned by John Textor comes after the sale of the OL women’s section to American billionaire Michele Kang last year, and that of its American women’s franchise Seattle Reign FC for €53.6 million last month.

OL Groupe has also announced a change of company name. The holding company is now called Eagle Football Group, in order to standardize the different football entities within the Eagle Football Holdings fold.

In addition to OL, this holding brings together the clubs of Botafogo (Brazil), Molenbeek (Belgium), Crystal Palace (England) and FC Florida (United States).

According to Le Progress, the numerical value of the sale should be around €160 million.

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