the imminent sale of the club, Jean-Michel Aulas should hand over this Friday


Fans of Olympique Lyonnais and the world of French football will be set tomorrow on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations for the sale of OL Groupe to the American billionaire John Textor who already owns the legendary English club Crystal Palace.

After 37 years at the head of Olympique Lyonnais, Jean-Michel Aulas must officially hand over on Friday with the expected takeover of almost all of the shares of OL Groupe by the American billionaire John Textor, the end of the negotiations started on June 20 last.
The announcement on this takeover valued at nearly 800 million euros is expected Friday after the close of trading.
According to a source familiar with the matter, the « closing » operation is proceeding normally, but a delayed announcement of a few days cannot be ruled out either, as is sometimes the case in transactions of this level, without however challenge the transfer.
Therefore, through the company Eagle Football Holdings LLC, John Textor, already present in the capital of the London club Crystal Palace and majority shareholder of Botafogo (1st Brazilian div.) and RWD Molenbeek (2nd Belgian div.), will become the new boss of Olympique Lyonnais, current 6th in Ligue 1.

The American will acquire, as announced by OL Groupe, all of the shares and half of the Osranes (bonds convertible into shares to finance the construction of the Groupama stadium) held by Holnest – the holding company of the Aulas family -, plus all of the shares and Osranes held by Pathé (Jérôme Seydoux) and the Chinese investment fund IDG Capitals.
Holnest holds 27.72% of the capital. Pathé and IDG, which have 19.36% and 19.85% respectively, announced on March 9 that they wanted to sell their shares by mandating the Raine bank to do so.
In the end, John Textor and his group will hold 90% of the shares. The agreement also provides for a capital increase of 86 million euros intended for debt reduction and, for another part, for the sports sector.

Subsequently, Eagle Football and Holnest planned to launch a takeover bid for the remaining shares by November at a price of three euros per share and 265.57 euros per Osrane. These two players would remain the only two shareholders of OL Groupe, which would be delisted on the stock exchange.

The signed agreement is a firm agreement without conditions precedent from the beginning

Jean Michel Aulas

The team

To finance the operation, John Textor (56) does not come alone. The American businessman relied on investors like James Salter (owner of around thirty brands like Reebok and Sports illustrated) and Bill Foley (boss of the Las Vegas hockey club).
 » The signed agreement is a firm agreement without conditions precedent from the beginning « Insisted, confident, Jean-Michel Aulas (73), in an interview with the daily L’Equipe, on September 21 in response to questions about the finalization of exclusive negotiations.
The doubts arose, in particular, after Foley’s share of financing, through a line of credit he held to guarantee the operation, was refused by the banks.

Following this, a very powerful new investor committed to financing the takeover of OL alongside Textor: Ares Credit Group, one of the four units of the American alternative investment company Ares Management Corporation , who in 2021 took a stake in Atlético Madrid.
Representative of Ares Credit Group, Mark Affolter was notably present alongside the candidate buyer during the match Lyon-Paris Saint-Germain (0-1), on September 18 at Décines-Charpieu.
Once the « closing » is confirmed, OL will become the eleventh French club bought by a foreign investor. Jean-Michel Aulas will remain executive chairman of the Rhone club which he guided to seven consecutive L1 titles (2002-2008) and two Champions League semi-finals (2010, 2020), under a three-year contract years passed with the new owner.
His annual salary would be two million euros, according to several media.
A flagship of spectator sport in France, OL Groupe controls OL’s women’s and men’s teams, the American women’s football club OL Reign and a third of the capital of the Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne (Elite) basketball club.
It owns the Groupama Stadium and is involved in the construction of a 12,000-seat multi-purpose Arena on the OL Vallée site, the inauguration of which is expected in the fall of 2023.



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