Two OL Groupe women’s soccer teams are for sale
The GIST: Not one but two OL Groupe women’s soccer teams are on the market. The France-based ownership group said Wednesday that it will sell the NWSL’s OL Reign and is reportedly set to separately peddle French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais Féminin (Lyon) to American businesswoman Michele Kang.
OL Reign: OL Groupe recently hired investment bank The Raine Group to oversee the sale of the NWSL club. The decision comes just three years after OL Groupe bought the Seattle team for $3.5M to create a network of women’s soccer teams with shared resources and players.
- An ownership change could see the team return to its original name, the Seattle Reign, and reintroduce the city into its branding. Geography has its marketing perks, which is why NJ/NY Gotham FC rebranded from Sky Blue FC in 2021.
Lyon: Kang, who also owns the NWSL’s Washington Spirit, will reportedly acquire a 52% stake in Lyon at a valuation of around $55M. She will cover the team’s roughly $13M annual deficit and may have been positioning the Spirit as Lyon’s new sister club after teasing a rebrand last month. OL Groupe denied reports of the sale, however.
- Just a year after assuming full control of the Spirit for $35M, Kang is emerging as a women’s soccer power player. By potentially buying one of the sport’s most successful clubs, she’s set to build her own network of teams. Baller.
The value: NWSL club valuations have skyrocketed since OL Groupe’s December 2019 purchase of OL Reign — Gotham is allegedly worth $40M, the NWSL collected a $53M expansion fee from new Bay Area ownership, the Portland Thorns could go for $60M, and Angel City values itself at $100M. What a difference three years make.