John Textor, a US businessman and major shareholder of football club Crystal Palace, is close to reaching an agreement to buy a significant stake in French football club Olympique Lyonnais, according to a report in The Athletic.
Last year, Textor paid £90m for a stake in Crystal Palace, having previously failed with an attempt to purchase 25% of the Portuguese side Benfica. It is understood his stake in the London-based Premier League club is around 40%.
Now he is looking to expand is football portfolio by investing into the Ligue 1 club based in the city of Lyon.
Jean-Michel Aulas, the current president and majority shareholder of the French club, is set to retain a smaller stake in the club and is expected to stay on to run the club.
Textor told Lyon's official website, “The project that I discovered in Lyon with Jean-Michel Aulas and all his teams will be at the epicentre of our new organisation and our investments in the service of world football.
“Olympique Lyonnais will be the cornerstone of our project. I intend, with the support of Jean-Michel and his teams, to bring out the values of development and self-improvement for which I have always been committed.
“I want to give all the fans of Olympique Lyonnais the additional means so that the institution can regain the highest level, in France and in Europe, while respecting the values of OL's DNA such as youth, work, self-sacrifice and this spirit which allows all the talents of the whole world to have access to the high level thanks to our involvement in the academies.”
Aulas added, “With this project, Olympique Lyonnais is opening a new chapter in its formidable history. For 35 years, my desire has always been to make Olympique Lyonnais a unique model in football, combining sporting and economic success.
“The sudden departure of (shareholders) Pathe and IDG nevertheless allowed the arrival of John Textor, capable of accompanying and supporting these same ambitions. This new shareholder will be an accelerator for our current and future projects. I am proud and happy to continue, with the support of John Textor, to write the future of Olympique Lyonnais.”
It is unclear whether this new investment will have any impact of Textor’s involvement with Crystal Palace.