OL Groupe, the holding company which oversees the Lyon football club, announced on Wednesday that it had reached a “preliminary agreement for the refinancing of the vast majority of its debt and that of its subsidiary Olympique Lyonnais SASU for an amount of EUR 320 million to long term".
This agreement was signed “with a group of leading global financial institutions” which the CEO, American businessman John Textor, welcomed in an OLG press release, “extremely satisfied with the leadership of Goldman Sachs as advisor in connection with this refinancing.
“This is a decisive step which will allow OL Groupe and its subsidiary Olympique Lyonnais SASU to repay the balance of the long-term stadium debt, the PGE loans (editor's note: loan guaranteed by the State) contracted during the years Covid and other debts taken out with private parties (including Holnest, the holding company of Jean-Michel Aulas, now a minority shareholder),” explains OL Groupe.
“In addition, this new financing should be more flexible for the group in various respects in particular by eliminating substantial restrictive commitments contained in the existing financing contracts under which certain decisions of the group were subject to the prior approval of the creditors”, continues the company.
The rating agencies KBRA Europe and DBRS Morningstar have respectively assigned an indicative financial rating of BBB and BBB on the envisaged structure, further specifies OL Groupe.
The closing of the new financing, i.e. the effective completion date of the operation, should take place by December 31, 2023, subject to agreement on the definitive documentation and the satisfaction of various usual conditions. .
“The confirmation of the main credit rating agencies and the quality of our new investors demonstrate the strength of the OL brand, the improvement of the group's financial situation and the solidity of its business plan for the future », added Mr. Textor on Wednesday.
OL, last in Ligue 1 football, which has no victories this season, and strongly threatened with relegation to Ligue 2, must appear before the DNCG at the end of November for a new examination of its financial situation.
This summer, the financial policeman of French football imposed restrictive measures on its payroll and transfer compensation which penalized the team in its recruitment.