The new owners of French football team Olympique Lyonnais plan to float their multi-club business in the US this year via SPAC, targeting a $1.2 billion valuation in what would be a first for the football industry, The financial times reports.
Eagle Football Holdings, the multi-club group controlled by US businessman John Textor, completed the takeover of French top-flight outfit Lyon last month and already own Brazilian side Botafogo and Belgian second-tier club RWD Molenbeek. The group also has a 40% stake in Premier League team Crystal Palace.
Eagle Football reportedly wants to go public this year. Timing will be determined by market conditions.
As part of Eagle Football's reported plans, agreements have reportedly been put in place for a potential merger between the group and Iconic sports Acquisition, a SPAC set up by Iconic Sports Management. The firm itself made a $75 million equity investment in Eagle Football to help fund the Lyon takeover.
Iconic Sports' SPAC raised $345 million when it listed in October 2021. Iconic Sports Management includes hedge fund manager Jamie Dinan and former banker Alexander Knaster, who respectively own the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and Italian second division soccer club Pisa. Read more.