Foster Gillett was reportedly set to take over Olympique Lyonnais in early June, but the Ligue 1 team is now in exclusive talks with a different U.S. investor: John Textor.
The co-owner of Crystal Palace FC is in discussions to take over around 66% of the club for $846 million, according to Forbes. Of that figure, $91 million will go toward acquiring players.
- The transaction will reportedly include a recapitalization of the holding company OL Groupe SA with the firm Holnest, which is owned by chairman Jean-Michel Aulas. It includes other OL Groupe sports teams, including NWSL club OL Reign.
- Under French takeover rules, Textor’s stake could end up larger than the original negotiations, as he will be required to make a tender offer to other shareholders.
- The investment will go toward shares from IDG Capital Partners and Pathé, both of which have less than a 20% stake in the club, as well as Aulas’ shares.
Aulas, who has owned the club since 1987 and currently has a 28% stake, will stay on as CEO and keep the current management team, according to Holnest, Pathé, and IDG.
Gillett, the son of former Liverpool FC co-owner George Gillett, was reportedly set to acquire Lyon for around $636 million, including a $106 million injection into the team, but talks stalled.
The team reportedly also had a third bidder.