OL women come under the control of the American Michele Kang

The takeover of women’s Olympique Lyonnais by American Michele Kang was made official on Tuesday by the Rhône-based club. It will be integrated into a larger structure that includes the Washington Spirit club, which the entrepreneur owns.

Women’s Olympique Lyonnais goes under the American flag. American businesswoman Michele Kang has taken over the club, after a deal to integrate it into a multi-club women’s soccer structure. She will be the majority shareholder and chairman, according to a joint press release announced on Tuesday, May 16. “The closing is expected for the end of June 2023“, because the transaction is subject to certain conditions, “including National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) approval in the United States and obtaining various third-party approvals in France“, specifies the press release signed by OL Groupe and YMK Holding.

This agreement represents an important step forward in the history of women’s professional football“, says Michele Kang in this press release. “Through an equity swap, OL Groupe will contribute its women’s team and Michele Kang, through YMK Holdings, will contribute a majority stake in Washington Spirit to create a new independent entity.“, states the press release.

OL women will keep their identity

The transaction will involve the contribution by OL Association (independent association subject to the 1901 law, consolidated by OL Groupe) of its women’s football business against a 12% stake in the new joint entity (without voting rights) . OL Groupe will also hold, through OL SASU, a 36% stake (without voting rights) in the new joint entity against the granting of a license of the OL brand for a period of 50 years“, the statement states.

Each club will maintain its established identity, respecting its heritage and fan community“, specify the text. “Significant investments will be made centrally in the development of shared assets across all group teams, such as performance science and technology, data analytics, global recruitment and sports personnel development.“, according to the same source.

Kang was present for the Coupe de France final

It’s not about changing OL, which already works very well and has won many titles. But I will bring the necessary resources to evolve even further, to see beyond in terms of performance“, explains Michele Kang in an interview with The group Tuesday. “We are working on the name“of the entity which will therefore include OL and the Washington Spirit club, announces Kang, who was present on Saturday during the Rhône club’s victory in the Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain (2-1).

In the end, “the new organization aims to acquire additional clubs in other countries in Europe, South America and Asia“, according to the same source. The text also specifies that OL Groupe, owner of OL Reign, has initiated a formal process of selling this club to the NWSL (North American league) in order to avoid any future conflict of interest within the American League.

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