The change of boss at OL is becoming clearer and should be confirmed this Monday evening. Initially scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m., the OL Groupe board of directors has just been brought forward by 24 hours and will therefore take place on Monday afternoon. At the request of the company, the title was suspended this morning at a price of 3.07 euros, pending a new opinion. The sale of a large share of the shares of the Lyon club will therefore be decided today.
As a reminder, the two shareholders Pathé (19.38%) and IDG (19.85%) had jointly announced at the beginning of March that they were putting their shares up for sale, and had commissioned the Raine bank to find buyers. Jean-Michel Aulas, who holds the largest share of the round table (27.72%), had also set to work to find a new shareholder likely to change OL’s economic dimension, while remaining himself in the game by negotiating multi-year governance.
He had thus reached an agreement with the American Foster Gillett at the beginning of the month: the two men had spent several days together in France and had come to an agreement around an overall envelope of nearly €600 million which included the purchase of part of the shares of JMA, in addition to those of Pathé and IDG, but also a capital increase close to €100 million, as revealed The Team June 8.
This project being validated, Gillett had until last Thursday (the 16th) to provide the bank guarantees necessary for its offer. He did not succeed, but the CA had then granted him an additional period, until Monday, June 20, to do so. It was a last ultimatum for Pathé, represented by Thomas Riboud-Seydoux, who wants to sell quickly.
Immediate capital increase of €90m
In the meantime, JMA has its back covered: the president of OL negotiated governance this weekend with John Textor, the candidate pushed by Pathé for several weeks, the only one to have deposited the necessary guarantees to date. He got it over several years. Textor had never been unanimous until then, because his offer was less important than that of Gillett, and because there are also questions about his parallel desire to invest significantly in FC Porto, a club in the same category as OL. But he is the only one, for the moment, to provide concrete guarantees. The Italo-Californians of Iconic Sports were also in on it, but their offer remained much lower than those of the other two.
The white smoke should therefore come out this Monday evening from the CA of OL Groupe. And, unless Gillett has provided the guarantees requested of him in the meantime, it is John Textor who should enter into exclusive negotiations to become the new boss of the Lyon club. The American’s offer is slightly lower, but it provides guarantees and above all respects the specifications imposed by JMA on all candidates, namely to proceed with an immediate capital increase of around €90 million. OL are about to change eras.