Textor takeover of Lyon stalled as finance finalised

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October 24 – The takeover of OL Groupe, owner of Olympique Lyonnais, by US investor John Textor’s Eagle Football Holdings has been stalled while Textor completes his financing for the deal.

Textor is committed to buying the shares of French film company Pathé and Chinese investment fund IDG Capital, as well as part of Jean-Michel Aulas’ family holding, Holnest. This would give him a 66.5% stake which could rise to 88.55%.

Olympique Lyon would be the fourth club in Textor’s portfolio.  Textor acquired majority stakes in Botafogo for an estimated $60 million and RWD Molenbeek. Last year, Textor paid £87.5 million for an 18% stake in Crystal Palace.

The transaction price of €3 a share would value Lyon’s equity at €529.5 million. There is also a planned capital increase of €86 million for the group’s investment needs, including building an arena for concerts and events.

“A preliminary agreement has also recently been entered into between Eagle Football and its main financial partners regarding the principal terms of a financing for the completion of the Transaction. The definitive financing documentation is being prepared,” said an OL Groupe statement.

“The parties nevertheless still have to finalize the legal documentation, notably regarding the main financing arrangements of Eagle Football, and the technical steps necessary for the proper completion of the Transaction.”

A timetable for key milestones has been set with the deal targeted to be completed November 17.

When the deal was announced Textor said: “Olympique Lyonnais will be the cornerstone of our project. I intend, with the support of Jean-Michel and his teams, to bring out the values ​​of development and self-improvement for which I have always been committed.”

Aulas added: “With this project, Olympique Lyonnais is opening a new chapter in its formidable history. For 35 years, my desire has always been to make Olympique Lyonnais a unique model in football, combining sporting and economic success.”

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