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Lyon seeking to raise €300 million and sell assets in bid to boost their finances

Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais are seeking to raise around €300 million from the bond market and sell some of their assets to raise funds, according to the Financial Times.

John Textor bought the French club in December 2022 for around €900m via his company Eagle Football Holdings.

The American businessman says he wants to sell ‘non-core assets’, including the new 16,000 all-seater entertainment arena built on OL Vallee and Lyon’s US-based women’s team OL Reign to focus on football.

The Les Gones owner sold a controlling and majority stake in Lyon’s women’s team to American businesswoman Michele Kang in May.

However, the French authorities are yet to approve the deal.

Textor wants to use funds acquired from the sales of these assets to invest in developing Lyon’s youth teams and academies.

A majority of it will also be used to reduce the debt incurred during the takeover of the club.

US investment banking firm Goldman Sachs has been hired to help raise the targeted €300m from the bond market.

Textor is hoping the funds will also help boost the club’s finances, secure the Groupama Stadium and refinance the existing loans from about a dozen different banks.

Lyon are hoping to return to the pinnacle of French football having won their last top-flight title in 2008.

The seven-time Ligue 1 champions are currently 17th in the 18-club league table following a woeful start to 2023-24.

They have drawn two and lost four of their opening six games, parting ways with Laurent Blanc and appointing Fabio Grosso as their new manager 12 days ago (September 16).

Lyon finished seventh last term, missing out on European football and will look to do better this season.

Textor wants to turn their fortunes around on and off the pitch by making what he sees as necessary financial decisions, and it remains to be seen whether they will end up proving to be the right ones.

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