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US investment firm RedBird Capital in talks to acquire majority stake in Toulouse FC

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American investment firm RedBird Capital Partners is in exclusive talks to acquire an 85-per-cent stake in French soccer club Toulouse FC.

Current owner Olivier Sadran, who has been club president since 2001, will retain a 15-per-cent stake in his hometown club.

Toulouse FC were relegated to the second-tier Ligue 2 following the premature conclusion of Ligue 1 amid the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Sadran said in a statement: “I am convinced that RedBird Capital Partners has the necessary skills and resources to enable Toulouse Football Club to return to the elite of French football while respecting our values of citizenship and involvement in the local economic ecosystem. I am keen to retain a minority stake, as I was born in Toulouse and as such I feel responsible for Toulouse Football Club, which can always count on my passion and support.”

Gerry Cardinale, the founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital, added: “We look forward to finalizing our partnership with Olivier and positioning Toulouse FC for success in the future.”

RedBird Capital recently partnered with the National Football League and Major League Baseball players associations to create OneTeam Partners, a company designed to help athletes maximize the value of their name, image and likeness rights.

It is also an investor in premium hospitality company On Location Experiences and the YES Network, which the New York Yankees recently acquired from the Walt Disney Company.

Last summer, France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel staged a pre-season tournament at Audi Field in Washington DC – the home of Major League Soccer team DC United – as part of its ambitious plan to boost the profile of its clubs in the United States, gain additional American investment and to significantly grow the value of its international TV rights.

In December, GACP Sports, a subsidiary of Miami-based private equity firm General American Capital Partners (GACP), sold its stake in Ligue 1 club FC Girondins de Bordeaux to co-investor King Street Capital Management.