Tampa Bay Rays’ co-owner Randy Frankel is among investors backing a bid for French Ligue 2 soccer club AS Nancy Lorraine. Teaming up with investment company Pacific Media Group, the deal could value the club at $11 million.
Frankel isn’t the first American investor to show interest in French soccer as Ligue 1 has seen an influx of U.S. investments over the last two years:
- In July, New York City-based RedBird Capital Partners bought an 85% stake in Toulouse FC.
- Girondins de Bordeaux was sold to Miami-based General American Capital Partners in 2018.
European Soccer Club Route
U.S.-based private equity firms and entrepreneurs have invested in soccer teams all across Europe this year, attracted by the relatively low price coupled with the global reach of the sport.
- Italian soccer club AS Roma was purchased by Texas-based billionaire Daniel Freidkin for almost $700 million in August.
- The Iowa-based Krause Group bought a controlling stake of Parma Calcio for $100 million in September in a bid to restore one of Serie A’s most storied clubs.
- Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over Welsh club Wrexham AFC in November, which sits in the fifth tier of U.K. soccer, for $2.5 million.
- Pacific Media Group, which also owns English club Barnsley, bought a majority stake in Belgian club KV Oostende.