City Football Group, the ownership group of Premier League champions Manchester City, has announced the acquisition of Belgian football club Lommel SK.
The team, which currently plays in the second-tier of Belgian football, becomes the ninth in CGF’s global portfolio, and its third in Europe, after Manchester City and Spanish side Girona.
A new board will be created, reporting to the central CFG team, and will include Paul Kerkhofs, president of Lommel Not for Profit Foundation, the previous majority stakeholder in the club.
A CGF statement said that the acquisition would allow Lommel “to contribute to and benefit from the sharing of knowledge and experience across the group”.
Ferran Soriano, chief executive of City Football Group, added: “This investment is part of our long-term strategy to be present in key football countries, play beautiful football and develop talent. We were attracted to Lommel’s culture, training facilities and commitment to youth development and we look forward to learning from their approach and helping the Club to evolve in the months and years ahead.”
In 2019, CFG made Mumbai City the eighth club in its portfolio after months of speculation that it was looking to invest in India. Earlier this year, CFG was strongly linked with a move for French Ligue 1 outfit Nancy, though no bid has yet materialised.
A $500m (€463m) investment in a 10-per-cent stake from US-based private equity group Silver Lake last year gave CFG a total valuation of $4.8bn. China Media Capital owns a 13-per-cent stake, with the remaining 77 per cent held by CFG founder Sheikh Mansour, the billionaire businessman and member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.