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John Textor’s Company Wants to Take Lyon Public

  • Eagle Football Holdings is planning to take Olympique Lyonnais public via SPAC at a $1.2 billion valuation.
  • The company completed its purchase of Lyon in December.

Olympique Lyonnais could be going public.

Eagle Football Holdings, which is controlled by John Textor, is planning to take the Ligue 1 club public via a SPAC merger at a $1.2 billion valuation. The company completed its purchase of Lyon in December, valuing the club at around $842 million.

Ares Management provided lending for the acquisition, and Iconic Sports Management made a $75 million investment as part of the purchase. 

  • Iconic’s investment reportedly included an agreement for a potential merger between its blank-check company — Iconic Sports Acquisition Corp — and Eagle Football.
  • The transaction isn’t guaranteed, but the Financial Times reported the goal is to go public this year.

Iconic, which raised $345 million when it went public in October 2021, is made up of Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Jamie Dinan, Pisa SC owner Alexander Knaster, former Goldman Sachs trader Edward Eisler, and Tifosy Capital.

Multi-Club Mania

Eagle Football Holdings also owns Belgian second-tier club RWD Molenbeek, Brazil’s Botafogo, and a stake in the Premier League’s Crystal Palace.

There are now more than 70 multi-club ownership groups — including City Football Group, Qatar Sports Investments, and RedBird Capital — but this would reportedly be the first such group to go public.