Olympique Lyonnais buys into basketball with Asvel club

June 25 – OL Groupe, owner of Olympique Lyonnais’ men’s and women’s teams, is expanding into basketball with the acquisition of 25% of Asvel.

Asvel plays in France’s Jeep Elite league games as well as the Euroleague, having recently gained a wild card entry to the competition. That prompted owners to seek outside investment to pursue their wider ambition.

The deal covers both the men’s and women’s teams as well as use of the image rights of former NBA star Tony Parker who bought 14% of the club in 2014. OL Groupe have acquired a 25% stake in the men’s team worth €3.4 million, and a 10% stake in the women’s team worth €300,000.

OL Groupe is building a new multi-purpose arena near the football team’s Groupama Stadium which was completed in 2016 for the Euros and will host the finals of the France 2019 Women’s World Cup in early July.

Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas and Parker said that Asvel will continue to play home games at the Astroballe, in the Villeurbanne district of Lyon until the completion of OL Groupe’s new multi-purpose arena near the Lyon’s Groupama Stadium, though will play some EuroLeague matches at the new venue.

“The agreement calls for synergies between OL Groupe and ASVEL LDLC, in particular in ticketing, sponsoring and more generally in commercial activities. In this regard, OL Groupe will guarantee ASVEL (men’s and women’s teams) an overall minimum annual revenue of €2.5 million over a period of several years,” said an OL Groupe press release.

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