CHICAGO – Reign FC, an inaugural member of the National Women’s Soccer League, has agreed to sell all assets to OL Groupe, the parent company of Olympique Lyonnais, the NWSL announced Thursday.
The agreement to buy the club for $3.51 million is expected to close in January, pending approval by the NWSL board of directors.
“We are very excited to have OL Groupe join our ownership group as we further enhance the league’s global leadership in the women’s game,” NWSL president Amanda Duffy said in a statement. “The OL Groupe has shown tremendous success in our sport and their involvement with NWSL will help the league’s continued growth.”
The club’s full assets will be housed in a newly formed U.S. registered company in which OL Groupe will have an 89.5 percent stake. Bill Predmore, Reign FC’s former investor-operator, will hold 7.5 percent of the share capital and Tony Parker, a four-time NBA champion from france and chairman of LDLC ASVEL will hold a 3 percent stake. Aulas will serve as chairman of the board of directors, where Parker also will have a seat. Predmore will become the club’s CEO. A COO will be named by OL Groupe at a later date.
“Our ambition has always been to operate the best women’s football club in the world,” Predmore said. “This is a distinction long held by OL, making them the perfect organization to help us achieve our long-term objectives for the club. We believe the combination of OL’s experience and expertise with our knowledge of the market and league will allow future investments to deliver the optimal impact to the club and to the NWSL.”
A press conference attended by Duffy, Aulas, Predmore and Parker, plus additional guests involved will be held on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET at the Key Bank Summit Club at Cheney Stadium. The conference will be broadcast live on OLTV (www.ol.fr via the OL Play service, on canalsat (channel 133), Reign FC’s Facebook page and on the ol.fr website.
Olympique Lyonnais was founded in 1950 and has been chaired by owner and president Jean-Michel Aulas since 1987. The club has won 49 titles and honors between both the women’s and men’s teams. Olympique Lyonnais Féminin has won 13 consecutive league championship titles, eight French Cup wins and six UEFA Champions’ League titles, including the last four in a row.