Eagle Football Acquires Legendary Ligue 1 Club Olympique Lyonnais

Transaction Creates One of the Largest Professional Football Groups in the World with Interests in Olympique Lyonnais, Crystal Palace, Botafogo, and RWD Molenbeek Additional Investors... | December…

Eagle Football Acquires Legendary Ligue 1 Club Olympique Lyonnais

Transaction Creates One of the Largest Professional Football Groups in the World with Interests in Olympique Lyonnais, Crystal Palace, Botafogo, and RWD Molenbeek

Additional Investors include Leading Global Investors Ares Management, Iconic Sports and Elmwood Partners

LYON, France and LONDON, Dec. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Eagle Football Holdings Bidco Limited ("Eagle Football"), a London-based group founded by digital entrepreneur and football enthusiast John Textor with interests in English Premier League club, Crystal Palace, Brazil Serie A Club, Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas, and Belgium First Division B Club, RWD Molenbeek, today announced that it has acquired on December 19, 2022 a significant controlling stake in Olympique Lyonnais Groupe SA ("OL").  Long-term Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OL, Jean-Michel Aulas, will continue to oversee OL's diverse sports and entertainment organisation and will become a director of Eagle Football Holdings Limited. As part of the transaction, Eagle Football will file as soon as practicable, on behalf of the concert with Holnest, a simplified cash tender offer for the shares and OSRANEs it does not own at the price of €3 per share and €265.57 per OSRANE.

Eagle Football Acquires Legendary Ligue 1 Club Olympique LyonnaisEagle Football Group was established to create a unique model of football ownership, focusing on historic, top-level clubs in major markets, fostering collaboration between clubs and communities to improve fan enjoyment and strengthen competitive outcomes.

Funds managed by Ares Management ("Ares"), a leading global alternative investor, and experienced investors Iconic Sports Partners and Elmwood Partners have made investments in Eagle Football Holdings Limited. The investment consortium was selected because of their extensive and relevant experience in the ownership and management of sporting organisations as well as in entertainment and technology.

Eagle Football believes its approach is unique within the multi-club landscape, having acquired interests in clubs that are community-centric, academy and development focused, and located in markets that offer specific advantages in talent identification and player migration.  The fans of Eagle Football clubs are already enjoying the cross-border family of clubs and communities, reaching out to each other across social media, wearing the kits of their 'brother clubs', and sharing ideas about talent collaboration.

John Textor stated, "Today is a new beginning for Olympique Lyonnais, an historic club that truly deserves a global stage.  With the #1 women's program in the world and a men's program that should expect again to fight for championships, Jean-Michel Aulas has built a world-class organisation of which the City of Lyon and its passionate fans can be proud. I look forward to many years of partnership with Jean-Michel as we work together to meet the high expectations of our supporters."

Mr. Textor continued, "I would like to call our supporters attention to the key backers of Eagle Football without whose help this investment would not have been possible.  The ownership experience of both Iconic Sports and Ares in global professional sports, including football, means they bring much more than just capital to our family of clubs. In addition, the technology and consumer-apps experience of Elmwood Partners will help us to set new standards for the future of fan enjoyment."

Jamie Dinan, Iconic Sports' lead equity investor in the OL deal, said that John is a visionary and has created an era-defining platform. Together, we have a sophisticated strategic plan, business plan, and growth strategy for Eagle Football. We believe this will position our clubs for success and create value to all our stakeholders. We are delighted to work with John and other investors to help build the resources needed to fight for the titles we know our fans want.

Mark Affolter, a Partner in Ares' Sports, Media and Entertainment strategy, said, "Ares is excited to support Eagle Football's differentiated approach to building and growing leading football clubs. As long-term investors with significant experience across global markets and professional sports franchises, we look forward to providing our flexible capital and market insights to help the teams deliver incredible experiences for fans around the world."

The Raine Group is serving as lead financial advisor for the purchase of OL by Eagle Football. DLA Piper LLP is serving as legal counsel, and Index Atlas Group is serving as strategic and financial advisor, to Eagle Football.  Tifosy Capital & Advisory is serving as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel, to Iconic Sports.  Proskauer Rose LLP is serving as legal counsel to Ares. Covington & Burling LLP is serving as legal counsel to Elmwood.

John Textor/Eagle Football HoldingsMr. Textor is an internationally recognized innovator and developer of disruptive technologies and creative content. He also has a digital distribution business model for media, entertainment, and the internet. To consolidate and strengthen his ownership interests in notable football clubs Crystal Palace (London UK), Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro (Brasil), and RWD Molenbeek, RWD Molenbeek was founded. Today, Olympique Lyonnais was announced as a Ligue 1 club based out of Lyon.

Iconic Sports was founded in 2021. It is made up of James G. Dinan (Founder of York Capital Management, co-owner of Milwaukee Bucks of National Basketball Association); Alexander Knaster (Founder of Pamplona Capital, owner of Pisa Sporting Club); Edward Eisler (Founder of Eisler Capital); and Tifosy Capital & Advisory. Tifosy Capital & Advisory is a boutique London-based sports advisory firm. Iconic Sports' founders have decades of combined experience and industry connections, as well as global expertise in sports, finance, and management in Europe and the United States.

Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES) is a leading global alternative investment manager offering clients complementary primary and secondary investment solutions across the credit, private equity, real estate and infrastructure asset classes. We seek to provide flexible capital to support businesses and create value for our stakeholders and within our communities. By collaborating across our investment groups, we aim to generate consistent and attractive investment returns throughout market cycles. As of September 30, 2022, Ares Management Corporation's global platform had approximately $341 billion of assets under management, with over 2,450 employees operating across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. For more information, please visit URL.

Media Contacts:

For Eagle EMAIL

For Olympique LyonnaisFlorent Deligia+33 6 81 75 34 EMAIL