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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Top French Soccer Club Nears $636M American Takeover

Olympique-Lyonnais
OL

Yet another soccer team is set to be taken over by a U.S. businessman.

Foster Gillett, the son of former Liverpool FC co-owner George Gillett, is reportedly set to acquire a majority stake in Ligue 1’s Olympique Lyonnais for around $636 million.

More than $318 million reportedly will go toward shares from Pathé and IDG Capital Partners, both of which have a less than 20% stake in the club. The remaining amount will go toward shares from current owner Jean-Michel Aulas and a $106 million injection into the team.

Aulas, who has owned the team since 1987, will stay on as president for now. 

Overseas, Please

Olympique Lyonnais joins the growing list of Americans investing in European soccer teams this year alone.

  • Last month, Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, and Sparks owner Todd Boehly’s consortium purchased Chelsea FC for $5.2 billion, marking the largest team sale ever and the first time that more than half of Premier League teams are owned by people or groups from the U.S.
  • Also in May, Sixth Street Partners entered a $380 million agreement with Real Madrid for a 30% stake in future stadium revenue, now including season ticket sales.
  • Earlier this month, RedBird Capital — an investor in Fenway Sports Group — entered an agreement to purchase AC Milan for $1.3 billion.

Lyon’s official ownership announcement is expected to come in the next 10 days.

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