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Lyon president Aulas says deal agreed for US takeover

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said on Tuesday a deal was in place for US businessman John Textor to complete a takeover of the seven-time French champions.

Eagle Football Holdings, a sports investment vehicle controlled by Crystal Palace shareholder Textor, is set to acquire a majority stake in the Ligue 1 club.

“We agreed, we shook hands overnight via video and at 3 a.m. Monday everything was signed,” said Aulas, adding that a board of directors had approved the deal.

The agreement will see Textor buy out minority shareholders Pathe and IDG Capital — who hold 19.36% and 19.85% stakes respectively — and a gradual sale of Holnest, the family holding company of Aulas, which holds 27.72% of the capital.

Aulas said he would continue as club president for “at least three years”.

“John wanted me to stay… it wasn’t an obligation but a wish of the fans” and of all those involved in the club, he said.

“OL… has stretched its wings beyond the borders, it has got a brand known everywhere, it is the 20th club in the world, so why would I show up and want to change any of that,” Textor told reporters.

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