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Lyon (AFP) – U.S. investment firm Eagle Football Holdings said in a statement it completed a growing international portfolio by taking control of French soccer club Lyon on Monday.
The holding company is controlled by technology tycoon John Texture, who also owns stakes in Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Botafogo in Brazil and RWD Molenbeek in Belgium.
The deal, valued at more than 800 million euros ($850 million), was reached after more than six months of negotiations. Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas said in June that the two sides shook hands over an agreement.
OL, the holding company that owns Olympique Lyonnais, issued a press release after the Paris Stock Exchange closed. Quoted by Textor.
“A new story begins today,” said the 57-year-old American.
Eagle acquired the stake controlled by Aulas, owner since 1987, minority owned by French entertainment company Pathe and Chinese investment firm IDG Capitals.
The press release states that Olas, 73, “will retain the operational presidency of Olympique Lyonnais for at least three years and remain surrounded by his team.”
Lyon won seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles from 2001 to 2008 but have struggled to keep up since Qatari investors acquired Paris Saint-Germain in 2006.
Lyon ranks eighth in the French First Division, and coach Laurent Blanc, who took charge at the beginning of October, asked the club to spend on new players after a friendly draw against Sochaux in the second division on Saturday.
“We have a good group but the competition is not enough. It is up to me to create it or with new players in January,” he said.
The women’s team has won the French League in 15 of the last 16 seasons, only PSG in 2021 and eight European titles in that time.
Groupe OL also owns the OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League
© 2022 AFP
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