North American Investors bid €800m for football team Lyon

Authentic Brands entrepreneur Jamie Salter and Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor are in negotiations to buy French football team Olympique Lyonnais in a transaction valued at €800 million, highlighting the hunger for sporting assets even as the world economy slows.

The parent business of Lyon, OL Groupe, which is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, said that it has opened exclusive sale negotiations with Textor and Salter’s Eagle Football Holdings, a sports investment firm.

Jean-Michel Aulas, the team’s longtime owner and a prominent figure in French football, will sell the majority of his interest as part of the agreement, while the movie studio Pathé and the private equity firm IDG Capital will also leave. Eagle Football Holdings would own about 80% of OL Groupe, which manages men’s and women’s teams as well as basketball operations if the negotiations result in a sale.

When debt is added, Lyon’s enterprise value increases to €800 million at the purchase price of €3 per share, valuing its equity at €529.5 million. After a projected capital increase for the group’s investment requirements, which includes constructing a nearby arena for concerts and events, this would rise to €884 million.

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