Lyon owners in takeover talks with NWSL’s Reign FC

26 November 2019 | Clubs & Rightsholders
Lyon owners in takeover talks with NWSL’s Reign FC
OL Groupe, the parent company of French top-flight soccer club Olympique Lyonnais, is in exclusive talks to buy a majority stake in National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team Reign FC.

A deal is expected to be completed by 31st January 2020, though it is yet to be reported how much the company will pay for its controlling stake in the Tacoma, Washington-based club or the amount the percentage will be.

Current Reign FC majority owners Teresa and Bill Predmore will retain a majority stake in the club, with the latter serving as Chief Executive. Reign’s academy will also be included in the sale, though Teresa Predmore will stay on as its President.

The Hanauer Family and Tacoma Soccer Ventures, investors in the club since their move to Tacoma in January this year, will not hold an ownership position after the sale is concluded.

Lyon’s highly successful women’s team, Olympique Lyonnais Féminin, are one of the game’s most dominant clubs. They have won the domestic league title every year since the 2006/07 season, seven of the previous eight domestic cups and the last four editions of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

In comparison, since being founded in 2012, Reign FC have been runners-up in North America’s premier women’s soccer league in 2014 and 2015 though they did win the NWSL Shield, awarded to the team with the best regular season record, for those two years.

It is not yet known how the club’s will operate but 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup and Golden Ball winner Megan Rapinoe previously played for Lyon in 2013 during the NWSL off-season.

“Our ambition has always been to operate the best women’s football club in the world,” said Bill Predmore. “This is a distinction long held by OL, making them the perfect organisation 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 separate statement from the OL Group read: ‘This investment is expected to consolidate OL's position as a major player in women's football worldwide and further develop the OL brand in the United States.’

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