RedBird Capital set to acquire majority stake in Toulouse FC
RedBird Capital Partners, a US investment firm, is in exclusive talks to acquire an 85 per cent stake in French second-tier soccer club Toulouse FC.
Current owner and president Olivier Sadran, who has been at the club since 2001, will retain a 15 per cent take in the club.
Toulouse were recently relegated to Ligue 2 after the early conclusion of Ligue 1 as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, Sadran said: “I am convinced that RedBird Capital Partners has the necessary skills and resources to enable Toulouse Football Club to return to the elite of French football while respecting our values of citizenship and involvement in the local economic eco system.
“I am keen to retain a minority stake, as I was born in Toulouse and as such, I feel responsible for Toulouse Football Club, which can always count on my passion and support.”
Gerry Cardinale, the founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital, said: “We look forward to finalising our partnership with Olivier and positioning Toulouse FC for success in the future.”
Last summer the LFP, the French professional soccer league, staged a pre-season tournament at Audi Field in Washington DC – the home of Major League Soccer team DC United – as part of its plan to boost the profile of its clubs in USA, attract US investment and increase the value of its international TV rights.
Marseille and Bordeaux, two of the four Ligue 1 clubs involved in the tournament had US owners at the time, in Frank McCourt and hedge fund GACP respectively.
However, in December, GACP sold its 14 per cent stake in Bordeaux to King Street Capital Management, the club’s controlling investor.
RedBird Capital recently signed a partnership deal with North America’s National Football League and Major League Baseball players associations to launch OneTeam Partners, a company which helps athletes maximise the value of their name, image and likeness rights.
It has also invested in the YES Network, the regional sports network recently acquired by MLB's New York Yankees from Walt Disney, and On Location Experiences, the premium hospitality firm now controlled by international sports and entertainment company Endeavor.