Lyon say that any Pathe and IDG share sale won’t halt development strategy

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March 11 – Olympique Lyonnais have responded to news that Pathé and IDG are looking to sell their near 20% stakes in the club, saying that the club is “actively working to strengthen its financial structure” and that it will continue its development work both on and off the field with the build of the new arena.

Pathé and IDG Capital issued a joint press release exploring the possibility of selling their stakes in the club, possibly as a combined sharehoilding that would make any buyer the largest shareholder. They have appointed merchant bank Raine Group to explore the sale options.

“Pathé and IDG Capital, partners of Olympique Lyonnais for more than 20 years and five years respectively, have decided (each for their part) to engage Raine, an investment bank specialising in the media and sports sector, with a view to evaluate their strategic and financial options concerning their respective participations in the club,” said their release.

They said that they had had a number of expressions of interest for the shares.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas owns 29.75% of the club through his Holnest holding company. The remaining 33.07% is held by multiple other investors.

Lyon responded with their own press release saying: “OL Groupe reminds investors that, as announced with the group’s first-half results on 16 Febriary 2022, it is actively seeking to strengthen its financial structure. This work is in line with the strategic direction that OL Groupe’s Board of Directors set at its meeting of 15 February 2022.”

The statement continued: “The purpose of this work is to allow the continuation of development projects which include in particular the multifunctional arena, the construction of which has begun and which is part of the OL Vallée project; the OL Reign women’s team in Seattle; and OL Groupe’s investments in ASVEL, whose men’s team has been a permanent member of the Euroleague since the 2021/22 season.

“In this context, OL Groupe will continue to implement these structuring projects, in accordance with the guidelines of the board of directors, aiming to align, as far as possible, the plan to strengthen its financial structure with the aspirations from Pathé and IDG.”

The reported a revenue drop of 35% for the covid impacted 2020/21 season to €177.4 million. That resulted in a loss of €107 million. (See Lyon’s pandemic losses

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