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Lyon set to become first French club to float on stock market

Lyon set to become first French club to float on stock market

Lyon will become the first French soccer club listed on the stock market next month.
The club announced Friday that investors have until Feb. 7 to subscribe and that public trading in the shares will commence Feb. 8.
The five-time defending French champion hopes to raise as much as euro100 million (US$130 million), allowing it to compete with wealthier European sides.
Lyon has also said it wants to raise money to build a new 60,000-seat stadium by 2010. French Sports Minister Jean-Francois Lamour has imposed a condition that clubs who want to go public have to acquire or build their own stadium.
Following a complaint by seven soccer clubs including Lyon and Marseille, the European Commission ordered France to modify legislation to allow flotations. The French parliament approved the measure last year despite Lamour's opposition.
Jean-Michel Aulas, a self-made millionaire who has run Lyon since 1987, had pushed for the change and his club was the first to launch its bid.
Aulas insisted Lyon's economic model was different from its rivals.
"It's a real company," he told a news conference.
The Olympique Lyonnais group reported revenue of euro166 million (US$216 million) in the 2005-2006 fiscal year, up from euro117 million the year before.
However, many British clubs that have gone public have performed badly, including Chelsea _ until it was rescued by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
Lyon lost 2-1 Wednesday at home to Bordeaux, suffering a second straight league defeat for the first time since September 2002. But the champion still held a 14-point lead over second-place Marseille at the top.


Updated : 2021-03-09 18:20 GMT+08:00