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OL Groupe to invest €141m in LDLC Arena project

OL Groupe, which operates French Ligue 1 football club Olympique Lyonnais, has announced a financing plan for LDLC Arena, its new multi-purpose venue that will have a capacity of between 12,000 and 16,000.

OL Groupe will provide 100% of the financing for the arena, which is expected to cost €141m (£119m/$149m). The company will support the project through its OL Vallée Arena subsidiary.

The investment will be financed through a combination of equity/near equity amounting to €51m, and a property lease of €90m. OL Vallée Arena has signed a 15-year, amortising property lease agreement with a group of five top-tier banks, which provides a residual value of 20%.

The LDLC Arena is set to be France’s largest events arena outside of Paris and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023. It is expected to host between 100 and 120 events a year, including concerts, seminars, trade shows, esports competitions and major sporting events.

The Live Nation-backed arena will host European games played by ASVEL Basket, which became a permanent Euroleague Basketball member in June 2021. OL Groupe holds a 33.3% stake in ASVEL Basket.

LDLC, the computer and technology stores owner, acquired naming rights to the arena in December as part of an eight-year deal. LDLC is an existing sponsor of ASVEL Basket and esports outfit Team LDLC OL.

OL Groupe awarded the contract to design and build the arena to architectural firm Populous and Citinea, which is a subsidiary of Vinci Construction. Jean-Michel Aulas, owner and chairman of Lyon, first announced the club was planning to develop a new arena in February 2019.

Construction work on the venue commenced in January.

Image: Populous