US mogul John Textor in Lyon takeover talks


Lyon confirms takeover Image: Groupama Stadium, Vincenzo.togni, CC BY-SA 4.0

French Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais (OLG.PA) confirmed on June 20th that they were in talks with US businessman John Textor about a takeover bid.

The ‘Reuters’ stated that Lyon said Textor’s Eagle Football Holdings vehicle was in talks over buying the majority stake held by the club President, Jean-Michel Aulas.

Olympique Lyonnais, commonly referred to as simply Lyon or OL, is a French professional football club based in Lyon in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (region in France). It plays in France’s highest football division Ligue 1.

Parc Olympique Lyonnais, known for sponsorship reasons as Groupama Stadium, and in some competitions as Grand Stade de Lyon or Stade des Lumières, is a 59,186-seat stadium in Décines-Charpieu, in the Lyon Metropolis (France). The home of French football club Olympique Lyonnais, it replaced their previous stadium, Stade de Gerland, in January 2016.

John Textor is an American businessman. He is the retired Executive Chairman of fuboTV, Inc., a sports-centric over-the-top (OTT) streaming company.

The ‘Reuters’ further stated that Textor already owns a stake in Premier League side Crystal Palace F.C. (UK).

Lyon won seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles from the 2001-2002 seasons but has struggled to compete in recent years, with big-spending Ligue 1 team Paris Saint-Germain F.C., who are owned by the State-run Qatar Sports Investments, dominating French football.

Soccer clubs have attracted billionaires and oligarchs from around the world due to the sport’s high TV audiences and lucrative property assets.

Last month, the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Los Angeles Dodgers (US) part-owner Todd Boehly struck a deal to buy the Premier League club Chelsea F.C., with financial backing from Clearlake Capital, while last October a Saudi-Arabian backed consortium bought the Premier League team Newcastle United F.C.

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