Eagle Football Holdings LLC, the owner of football clubs from Britain to Brazil, is considering raising $200 million in equity ahead of a potential listing in New York, people with knowledge of the matter said.
(Bloomberg) — Eagle Football Holdings LLC, the owner of football clubs from Britain to Brazil, is considering raising $200 million in equity ahead of a potential listing in New York, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The multiclub owner is in talks with potential advisers about the private funding round, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Eagle Football is also discussing the possibility of later raising an additional $300 million via the sale of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, they said.
Deliberations are ongoing and no final decisions on the timing of either transaction have been taken, the people said.
Eagle Football is the brainchild of US businessman John Textor, who’s moved quickly to build a stable of clubs that includes English Premier League team Crystal Palace FC, Brazil’s Botafogo and RWD Molenbeek in Belgium.
Proponents of the multiclub model say it is more financially sustainable than traditional football ownership as it allows for costs to be shared across a group and opens the door to more lucrative commercial deals. To be sure, public markets have historically been wary of football teams, given the often volatile nature of their earnings.
Late last year, Textor struck his biggest deal when Eagle Football took control of French club Olympique Lyonnais with the backing of high-net-worth individuals and US investment firm Ares Management Corp. The club has faced protests from angry fans this season after a string of poor performances have left it stranded at the bottom of France’s Ligue 1 without a win.
Lyon plans to move its women’s team into a separate company that will also house the US-based women’s football team Washington Spirit. The French club will hold 48% of the company, which will be controlled by Washington Spirit’s owner Michele Kang.
Separately, Eagle wants to sell a basketball arena owned by Lyon, lease it back and use the venue to also host music events, one of the people said. Eagle plans to invest some proceeds from the sale in building football academies in Brazil, Dakar and Florida, the person said.
A representative for Eagle Football declined to comment.
–With assistance from Irene García Pérez.
(Updates with details on Lyon in sixth paragraph.)
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