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Jean-Michel Aulas in exclusive discussions with OL Groupe to buy OL Vallée Arena

Holnest, the family company owned by Jean-Michel Aulas, has entered into exclusive discussions with OL Groupe in order to buy back its Arena located in OL Vallée, the group announced on Tuesday in a press release.

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Jean-Michel Aulas in exclusive discussions with OL Groupe to buy OL Vallée Arena

Holnest, the family company owned by Jean-Michel Aulas, has entered into exclusive discussions with OL Groupe in order to buy back its Arena located in OL Vallée, the group announced on Tuesday in a press release. These “confidential” negotiations aim to sell all of the shares in the company OLG Vallée Arena, which operates the LDLC Arena in Décines-Charpieu. The exclusivity period extends until May 31, 2024. This ultra-modular multipurpose hall with a capacity of 16,000 seats opened its doors at the end of 2023 and notably hosts certain basketball matches of Tony Parker's Asvel, as well as as shows or concerts.

The former Spurs star had once said he was interested in taking over the venue in association with Russian-Hungarian businessman Alexei Fedorychev, but the latter's financial difficulties made this scenario unlikely. According to several media, the sale price of the room would be 160 million euros. The cost of the work amounted to 141 million euros. The LDLC Arena project was led by Jean-Michel Aulas, former president of Olympique Lyonnais and CEO of OL Groupe until its sale to American John Textor's Eagle Football in 2023.

At 75 years old, he now only holds 5.49% of the group's capital through his holding company Holnest. After the repurchase of 87.69% of the shares, he was appointed executive chairman for three years before being dismissed from this position on May 5. Subsequently, Jean-Michel Aulas and John Textor engaged in various legal proceedings before putting an end to their differences in December. Shortly after, Jean-Michel Aulas officially declared himself a candidate for the purchase of the room.

The exclusive discussions were finally authorized by the OL Groupe board of directors. This proposed sale is part of Eagle football's new strategy aimed at refocusing its activities around men's football. On March 18, OL Groupe, whose corporate name also became Eagle Football Group following a decision taken by the general meeting of shareholders in December, had already sold its American women's football club, Seattle-Reign FC for 53, 6 million euros.

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