Aulas cuts ties with Lyon, targets LDLC Arena takeover

Featured image credit: Populous

Jean-Michel Aulas, the former president of Olympique Lyonnais, has stepped aside from his role at the Ligue 1 club’s ownership group, OL Groupe, and is interested in acquiring the recently opened LDLC Arena.

Lyon was bought by US technology entrepreneur John Textor in December last year in a deal reportedly worth more than €800m (£689m/$880m). Aulas stayed on as president of the club before stepping down in May and taking up the role as honorary president.

Aulas has now opted to cut his ties completely with OL Groupe. French radio station Europe 1 has reported that Aulas will explore a purchase of LDLC Arena, a new €141m arena which opened last month and is located near Groupama Stadium, Lyon’s home venue.  

The Populous-designed LDLC Arena is France’s largest indoor arena outside of Paris and will have a capacity of 16,000 for concerts and around 12,000 for sporting events. LDLC Arena is owned by OL Groupe, but before the venue opened Textor revealed that a full or partial sale of the facility is being considered to shore up Lyon’s financial position.

Europe 1 has reported that Aulas is considering a purchase of the arena through his Holnest company. Europe 1 will air a full interview with Aulas on Saturday.

Tony Parker, the majority shareholder of LDLC ASVEL, the basketball team which plays its home games at LDLC Arena, is also said to be considering a bid for the venue.