Wednesday December 6, 2023

French Soccer Club Lyon Seeking $300M Capital Raise

  • The French club's American owners are looking to improve team finances.
  • This year, Lyon sold its women's club and is exploring a sale of its separate NWSL team.
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Last year, the $842 million sale of Ligue 1 side Lyon set a record for French soccer clubs.

Now, the team’s new ownership group is looking to raise $315 million from the bond market and continue to sell off some of its biggest assets, according to the Financial Times.

After acquiring the club, American businessman John Textor’s Eagle Football Holdings sold Lyon’s French women’s club, reportedly valued at $54.4 million, to NWSL Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang.

Lyon is currently exploring a sale of OL Reign, the NWSL team it owns, based on a similar $50 million valuation. The club is also opening to selling full control of its LDLC arena, a new 16,000-seat, multipurpose venue due to be completed later this year that is separate from Parc Olympique Lyonnais, where Lyon plays its home matches.

The club has hired Goldman Sachs for bond sales that would be secured against the club’s stadium and used to refinance existing loans.

After finishing seventh in Ligue 1 last season, Lyon is currently in 17th place through six matches this year, and thus needing to move up several spots in the table by season’s end to avoid relegation.

Follow The Money

Lyon’s ambitions continue the trend of bringing on major investors into European soccer clubs.

This month, Premier League club Chelsea secured $500 million in new investment, while Florida-based 777 Partners completed a deal to acquire Everton after the EPL club lost a potential investment of up to $190 million from U.S.-based investment group MSP Sports Capital.

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