The sale of the Olympics to Eagle Football, John Textor’s company, has seen ups and downs, twists and turns since June. It could finally end officially on December 8, the day of the light festival in Lyon, which is only a symbol: it is not certain that many people will see it more clearly when the OL Groupe will later announce its decision, which was taken last night by the board of directors.
Meeting from 22.00, after the women’s team’s victory over Zurich in the Champions League (4-0), the main shareholders had a decision to make on what to do with the sale of the club to the American businessman. After painfully validating its second round of funding for several weeks, the latter has hit a major hurdle in recent days. In order to guarantee some of his loans to take over the Olympics, Textor had to integrate the shares he owns in Crystal Palace (40%) into Eagle’s capital. Except that his partners at the English club (Parish, Harris and Blitzer), with whom relations have been refreshed, did not hear it that way, and the Premier League therefore did not want to give the Eagle boss the necessary permission.
The Olympics need cash
Before the fateful meeting, in a difficult economic context, those involved in the case did their utmost to ensure that John Textor validated his takeover of the Olympics. In fact, the American is determined to buy, while Pathé (19%), IDG (20%) and Jean-Michel Aulas, via his family with Holnest (28%), absolutely must sell quickly, and to Textor.
Its offer (approx. €800m, including debt assumption), at €3 per share, is actually largely profitable for them (the share was at €2.18 last night). Various financial arrangements were investigated as quickly as possible so that the case would succeed despite the blockade on the side of the Palace.
The Olympics are heavily indebted and in dire need of cash, and Textor has committed to injecting €86m immediately. If, on the other hand, the deal fails, the club should immediately take out a loan for an amount corresponding to very high interest rates, which would weigh heavily on its next financial year. Especially without the Champions League.