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OL “in exclusive negotiations” for a takeover by American John Textor

OL Groupe, the holding company representing Olympique Lyonnais, announced on Monday that it had entered into “exclusive negotiations” with a view to acquiring a majority stake in the group Eagle Football Holdings, llc, belonging to the American John Textor, already owner of several football clubs. “This operation would lead to a complete sale of the stakes of Pathé and IDG”, which respectively represent 19.36% and 19.85% of the capital of OL Groupe, “and to a progressive liquidity of Holnest, the family holding of Jean-Michel Aulas”, historic president of the club, since 1987, who held 27.72% of the capital, specifies the press release from the group, which had asked Monday for the suspension of its listing on the stock exchange.

The Chinese investment fund IDG Capital and Pathé, a group led by the Seydoux family, announced that they wanted to sell their stakes last March.

Aulas remained in place

Aged 56, Textor is already a reference shareholder with his group of several football clubs and in particular Botafogo (Brazilian 1st div., 90%) and Racing White Daring Molenbeek (Belgian D2, 80%), where he has maintained the president already in place, and present for 40% in the capital of Crystal Palace (1st English div.). John Textor, whose fortune is estimated at three billion dollars and who specializes in particular in online sports broadcasting, special effects and images of celebrities in virtual reality, should also immediately invest EUR 86 million to strengthen the financial structure of OL Group.

The transaction should make it possible to continue the strategy put in place by the Lyon club, to strengthen the sports teams and the infrastructures, further specifies the press release from OLG. Jean-Michel Aulas and the club’s current management team would remain in place, it is said.

Launch of a takeover bid

In addition, this sale should result in the launch of a “friendly public purchase offer (OPA), at the price of three euros per share and 265.57 euros per Osrane (reimbursable bonds), which would possibly be followed, if the conditions are met, of a compulsory withdrawal corresponding to an enterprise value of OL Groupe estimated at 798 million euros on July 1, 2022 and 884 million euros after the capital increase”, further details the press release from OL Groupe.

The objective of Textor and Aulas (73), who therefore kept his position as general president for the next few seasons, is to bring Olympique Lyonnais back to the top after a disappointing season that ended in 8th place in Ligue 1 and a non-European qualification.


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